Surprisingly, the dough recipe that finally worked for me actually came from an American cookbook. It was truly by luck that I happened upon Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff in my local library. In it, there is a recipe for pineapple jam and with that, a recipe on how to use the jam…in Pineapple Tarts. Note though, that the pineapple jam recipe in this post is my own, while the dough recipe is from the book. However, I did not use the author’s creaming method to make the dough, instead I used the “short dough” method (cutting/working the butter into the flour). Besides the dough recipe, I also followed the author’s method of shaping the cookies, which doesn’t require any special Pineapple Tart mold, press, or pincher. Alright, without any further ado, here are the recipes…
1 (6 pounds 10 ounces) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup granulated sugar*
1 (2 to 3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
*This amount produces a moderately sweet jam. Adjust the quantity to your own preference.
Using a food processor, process pineapple chunks until fine (consistency would be similar to hand-grated pineapple).
Place processed pineapple, sugar, and spices in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture thickens and turns caramel color (see picture), stirring occasionally at the beginning and constantly towards the end. The entire cooking process takes about 2 hours – I remove the spices halfway through the cooking but you may leave them until the end if you prefer a stronger cinnamon/clove flavor.
Cool and store covered, in the refrigerator until needed (I have kept mine in the fridge for up to 2 weeks before using and the jam was as good as the first day). :-D
1 recipe Pineapple Jam (I prerolled each teaspoon of jam into 1 to 1¼-inch logs the day before for easier handling)
5 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled
5 large egg yolks, divided
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
Note: Measurements for the dough ingredients have been doubled from the original quantity in the Canning for a New Generation cookbook.
Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl or baking dish. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs (if using pastry blender, you may still need to switch to using your fingertips towards the end to get that finer consistency).
Lightly beat 4 egg yolks and add to the flour-butter mixture. Using your fingertips, gently mix in the egg yolks. Then, add the water (start with 4 tablespoons) and form the dough by patting the mixture together (do not knead). Shape dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Working with quarter of the dough at a time, roll dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap until ⅛ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out 2¼-inch circles; place one log of jam in the center of each circle, then fold up the edges of the dough to completely enclose the jam, pinching the seam together tightly. (I find it helpful to have a piece of wet cloth or paper towel right next to me to wipe remnants of jam off my fingers. This helps to prevent dough from sticking to my fingers or itself.) Shape/mold the filled tart to look like an oval shape log.**
Place the filled tarts seam side down on the baking sheets 1 inch apart. Use a sharp knife to score the tops, being careful not to cut all the way through the dough.
Beat the remaining egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water and brush it over the tops of the tarts. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.*** Remove to wire racks to cool completely before storing. Yield approximately 85 cookies.
***Bake the minimum amount of time if possible to get the most tender pastry. Over-baking will result in a crisper pastry but will soften over time with storage.