The Lunar New Year is the most important festive season to the Chinese, signifying the start of a new year. Families are seen busy weeks before the first day, spring cleaning their house, sweeping away the bad luck of the preceding year and makes their homes ready for good luck. In the olden days, familes would gather together to prepare cookies etc for visitors instead of buying them off shelves. You would be able smell the fragrant of love letters from the corridor, using the good old charcoal stove. I fondly remember the adults in our family would prepare cookies till wee hours of the night and we kids will always find the opportunity to “help” and stay late with “official” permission.
Personally, I felt the chinese new year is not complete without Pineapple Tarts which also mean “旺来”, good luck to come! They are bited size butter pastries filled with pineapple jam and there are generally 2 types of pastries, one which is the crisper texture and the other melt in the mouth. There have since been several designs of these tart – open tart, shaped like a tangerine, nastar which the pastry is rolled to enclose the pineapple jam and some with snip cut to shape like a rose, pineapple shape.
I’ve been making open tart with a crisper texture all the while but this year I’ve start making melt in the mouth pastry and grew to love it, most importantly so does the family! The buttery fragrant of the pastry compliment the slightly sour jam with the chewy fibre. Do not underestimate the little clove on top of the pastry, the aromatic smell filled the house during baking and enhance the overall pastry. This melt in the mouth dough is very soft and good for wrapping the filling, I think they look super cute!
The good old tradition open tart. I used to get very fustrated using the plastic mould to cut-out these cookies cos the imprint wasn’t clear till I get the copper mould. It’s really a breeze to do cut out the dough and much faster as well, the only complaint I have for this mould is it’s heavy at 180g. This recipe is the more crisper type which suit these kind of design.
The nastar design, I love the pattern! Dough has to be melt in the mouth type in order to pipe out.