The day that has finally arrived for me to make pineapple tart. I have been making it for the past two years. Last year, I sold quite a number of jars. The orders kept coming in and I had to keep redoing my jam. I was truly spent. I vowed this year I am not making any. It was meant to be fun baking in the spirit of Chinese New Year.
I just broke my vow today. Somehow, Chinese New Year without pineapple tart is lacking something. It is like the numero uno thing to have during Chinese New Year. What is Chinese New Year without "ong lai"? Well, I know I asked for trouble but homemade ones are way better than those pineapple "flavoured" tarts outside. Homemade jam is flavourful and less sweet (I prefer less sugar) without the artificial pineapple flavouring that is evident in some jams. Your whole house would smell of the fragrance of pineapple when you are cooking the jam. Call it natural perfume. It just smells so good!
This year, I am smarter (or so I thought). I made a big batch all at once. It helps that Giant had this pineapple promotion at 98 sen per pineapple. So off I went early to choose the biggest Morris pineapples. Morris is the preferred pineapple as it has more fiber and is generally cheaper than the other species available such as Josa or Sarawak pineapple. I have tried using Josa once, and I was left disappointed with the amount of slurry I got after blending. Although Giant's Morrises are smaller than those sold by fruit vendors, I managed to get 14 reasonable sized pineapples.
The hardest part in making pineapple jam is the cutting of the pineapple. It is the removal of eyes takes the longest of time. It took me a full 1 1/2 hours to fully handle those pineapples. Do wear gloves when you are cutting the pineapples for so long. The acid in the pineapple will give your hands irritation.
My 14 pineapples filled up the whole of my 42 cm wok. It took me 3 1/2 hours to fully cook the jam. By the time I was done, I was only left with 2.5 kg of jam. You most probably do not need that much of jam. The recipe that I am providing here is in a smaller portion.
Pineapple Jam/Pineapple Tart Filling
8 big Morris pineapples
800-900 gm sugar (depending on the sweetness of the pineapple)
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Peel and remove the eyes of the pineapple. Cut into reasonable chunks for processing later. Wash and drain.
2. Put part of the cut pineapples into food processor and blitz it until it becomes coarse slurry. Do not blend it too fine. Put slurry into a sieve to remove some of the liquid. Do not remove all as the liquid is full of flavour.
3. Then throw the drained slurry into a wok and start cooking in medium heat.
4. Repeat with the rest of the pineapples until all are finished, while cooking the slurry at the same time (saves time!).
5. Leave the slurry to evaporate in the wok, stirring occasionally.
6. When the slurry becomes thick, stir more often to avoid it getting burned.
7. Add in sugar and cook until the jam becomes paste like. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. It is better to add in 80% of the sugar first. Taste and then add the rest. Add more if necessary. Cook for another 20 - 30 minutes depending on the amount of jam you have.
8. Remove from heat and let the jam cool.
1. Traditionally, this recipe calls for unripe pineapples but I personally prefer almost ripe ones as it is more tasty and fragrant. Also its tartness is not so intense.
2. The sugar I used is minimal and hence, my jam would not last as long as some others.
3. I normally bake my tarts longer in the oven to ensure the tarts are able to last longer.
4. I used a food processor but if possible just grate your pineapples. It has a much better texture.