Pineapple Tarts

What is Chinese New Year without pineapple tart? This super auspicious cookies is a must in every household. And I don’t want to be boring, going on and on about how pineapple tart is the one cookies that is the most sought after cookies during this this time of the year. So I just go and start ranting about how I managed to replicate my aunties’ precious cookies.

First thing first, our pineapple tarts are not really “tarts”, they are rolled cookies with pineapple fillings. Mother was telling me the other day that many, many years ago, when they were little, there was this old lady who lived across the street selling pineapple cakes during Chinese New Year started making this shape, claiming that her Dutch employer did it that way. I have also never seen anybody make their pineapple tarts this way. Malaysians and Singaporeans would make them into pretty tiny little tart with pineapple on top of the crust. Indonesians make theirs into round cookies with round pineapple jam fillings.

We, in Indochine Kitchen, roll them up into logs and cut them up nicely before brushing them with egg wash. I think the politically-correct foodie would call our pineapple tarts as pineapple shortbreads, but I wouldn’t worry about it. If you ever wonder what the heck is this nastar everybody is talking about here, it is the pineapple tart!

I would like to state that I have cooked up 20 pineapples to make the jam, burnt 4 batches of cookies, baked 5 batches of literally inedible hard and ugly tarts, and one super sour batch – when I mistaken baking soda to cornflour. I felt awful and super stupid during the last part, by the way. At the end of last week, I felt that I have seen enough of pineapple tarts. Then I changed my mind the next day. They are so pretty and shiny and delicate! I hide them in my secret hiding place, to keep them away from my brother’s and boyfriend’s prying hands.

Grab your seat, hold your mouse, and here it comes. Indochine Kitchen’s Pineapple Tarts with homemade pineapple jam!

Peel pineapples and cut them up into medium-sized pieces. Some would suggest getting rid of the middle part of the fruit, we never do. I hate to waste the core.

Puree pineapples in a blender. Until it resembles delicious smoothie.

Combine puree, sugar, cloves and cinnamon in a thick pan and cook over low heat, until it thickens. Grab a chair. Or a book. Or a friend. This takes hours. 3-4 hours, mostly. And it needs to be stirred continuously to avoid burning.

When it thickens, remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Let cool. Use it in your recipe right then and there, or store them in airtight container and refrigerate. Can last for 3 months if really thick and dry, 1 month if you prefer it to be slightly moisty. (Definitely not a word, but I am using it anyway)

And here’s the fun part! By the way, in case you notice, preparing the pineapple jam is the boring part. Or you can take the highway and grab the ready-made pineapple jam for pineapple tart.

Fill the jam in a triangle plastic fitted with a round tip.

Tie them up nicely.

In a mixer bowl, combine butter and confectioners’ sugar.

Cream those two using wire whisk attachment, over medium speed for about 4-5 minutes.

This is half-way done.

Nice and fluffy.

Add egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well.

The butter and sugar mixture is ready now.

Add the flour mixture (that’s flour, powdered milk and cornflour) and beat using paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes.

Remember to stop the mixing two or three times to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so all ingredients are mixed properly. Cover up the dough with a piece of plastic or clean kitchen towel to avoid drying out while working with small batches of the dough.

Prepare a 20 x 35 cm food grade plastic (not shrink wrap). Fold them into two right in the middle, length-wise, and then fold them again. The plastic should be 5 x 35 cm by the time you are done.

Grab 50 g of cookie dough. Knead vigorously. Until the dough color lightens slightly and becomes smooth. This is when the dough is ready to be used. Form it into small log.

Place the log in the middle part of the plastic and fold it according to the lines you have prepared before.

Roll the dough into rectangle of 5 x 28 cm. Try as hard as you can to get even thickness through out the rectangle.

Pipe pineapple jam on top of the dough, in a neat line, as even as you humanely could.

Grab both ends of the plastic (left and right) and gently roll the dough down. Don’t apply too much pressure or the jam would be squeezed to either ends.

Gently apply pressure on the spot where the top of the dough meets the lower ends. Seal the dough lightly with your fingers.

Make sure the log is round and tight. Pretty!

Peel the plastic off slowly. Observe calmly if the log is nice and neat, with the same thickness from left to right. Can you now tell how annoying I am? I have to get everything precise. If not, I might just go crazy.

Cut the log into 4 cm-length piece. Roll each one of them lightly to ensure there’s no opening or cracks.

Beautiful? Yeah!

Arrange them on greased pan.

Do this again and again and again until you run out of dough, or pineapple jam. Or both.

Combine egg yolks with condensed milk. Strain the mixture and get rid off the parts that can’t go through the strainer. This would ensure nice wash.

Use a small pastry brush for this very, very important part.

Coat the cookies with egg wash mixture. Twice.

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes till golden.

Let cool and store in airtight container. Serve these to your guests this rabbitty Chinese New Year!


Pineapple Tarts, Nastar

Yield 700 g cookies


For pineapple jam
2 kg pineapple, roughly 4 medium sized pineapples
600 g sugar
3 cloves
5 cm cinnamon stick

For cookies
200 g butter
50 g confectioners' sugar
40 g powdered milk
280 g flour, low gluten or all purpose
20 g cornflour
2 egg yolks

For egg wash
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp condensed milk


For pineapple jam
Puree pineapple in an electric blender till smooth.
Combine puree with sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in a pot. Cook over low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring continually.
When it thickens and can be piped or rolled, remove from heat.
The jam will thicken during cooling. Prepare this one day in advance. You will end up with 500-600 g pineapple jam, enough for one batch.

For cookies
Preheat oven to 150 degree Celsius
Sift flour, powdered milk and corn flour twice.
In a mixer bowl, combine butter and sugar. Cream till light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, over high speed.
Add egg yolk, one at a time. Beating well.
Add flour mixture into the bowl and beat over low speed using paddle attachment. Do this for 4-5 minutes, until everything is mixed well.
Work with 50 g of dough one at a time. Roll dough between plastic sheet to 0.2 cm thickness.
Pipe pineapple jam on top of the dough. Roll the dough to cover up the jam completely.
Use a pair of scissors to cut them up into 4cm log and arrange on greased pan.
Brush with egg wash mixture twice using small pastry brush.
Bake in preheated oven till golden, 15-20 minutes.
Let cool and store in airtight container.

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75 Responses to “Pineapple Tarts”

  1. 1

    Jen Yu — January 29, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    These are lovely. Your attention to detail is incredible too. I think I would lose my mind, but now you’ve got me wanting to make these :)

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

      I didn’t like the details myself, but I just can’t help it! :)

  2. 2

    MaryMoh — January 29, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Oh…these are really beautiful….tube-like and neat. Pineapple are always my favourite cookies. Yes, you are right…a must during Chinese New Year. Thanks for showing it step by step. I must try to make them in these shapes.

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

      I have been worrying readers’ won’t understand what I meant. :D I write in such sloppy English!

  3. 3

    Linda — January 29, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    oh my goodness, they are the most beautiful nastar I have ever seen. Good job and thank you so much for sharing the recipe :D

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

      Thank you!

  4. 4

    Gertrude — January 29, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    Jun this is so neat. I like this design. Bookmarking this for next year. I am done with CNY baking :)

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

      I can’t wait to see yours!

  5. 5

    Pepy @Indonesia Eats — January 29, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    Your tarts have a different shape. Look easier to make compare to basket shape one. Lovely, Jun! I have bought more pineapple lately since they are on sale.

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

      I have never tried basket shape though .. I always worry the open top will dry out the pineapple :D I should really try one of these days

  6. 6

    Trissa — January 29, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    Jun! You make the best ever pineapple tarts I have ever seen. They are so cute! I don’t think I have ever seen them shaped this way before. Sigh… I just love your blog.

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

      Trissa, you always made my day!

  7. 7

    dinewithleny — January 29, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    jun your pineapple tarts look so delicious. you made it looks so easy to roll, but im sure it takes years of experience to make them look as nice as yours.

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

      It took exactly 3 weeks and 10 batches. You should see my auntie’s .. so neat and beautiful. Those are years of experience alright. :)

  8. 8

    Ju — January 29, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    Soooooo pretty!!!! My gosh, I would love to try it this way. Your pictorial guide is fantastic. I am feeling optimistic I can do it! ;)

    • Jun replied: — January 31st, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

      No doubt!

  9. 9

    Tweets that mention Indochine Kitchen » Pineapple Tart -- — January 30, 2011 @ 2:19 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jen Yu, Jun. Jun said: Finally, the Pineapple Tarts a la Indochine Kitchen [...]

  10. 10

    Carine — January 30, 2011 @ 3:13 am

    oh my gosh, you are so PRO! and your pineapple tarts looks amazing. The egg yolk looks really red!!!

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 3:19 am

      We choose eggs with reddest yolk we can find. That will ensure the color to be really pretty!

  11. 11

    Jeannie — January 30, 2011 @ 6:21 am

    Hi! I saw your gorgeous pic in Food Gawker and can’t help hopping in to have a better look! I am glad I did!

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 3:21 am

      Thank you, Jeannie!

  12. 12

    Tastes of Home (Jen) — January 30, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    Your pineapple tarts look gorgeous! You’re right yours are really shaped uniquely, love the little background story you provided too.

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 3:21 am

      LOL. The story is kinda cute, no? People were very intrigued with the Dutch and everything they did back then.

  13. 13

    thoma — January 30, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    OMG Jun, what a winner you have there. i may never make them with two kids hopping around me…but i drool right now. how i wish i had some of those…really!

  14. 14

    something_good — January 30, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    amazingly beautiful; when I read pineapple tarts I was expecting the classic “pie” and I’ve bumped into these little gorgeous rolls.

  15. 15

    Christine — January 30, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    WOW! I’ve never seen pineapple tarts looking this fabulous! My mom always makes oval ones, then pinched with tweezers to resemble a leaf.

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 3:17 am

      Always very intrigued by the pinching action to make leaf!

  16. 16

    pigpigscorner — January 30, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    Oh wow, beautiful! So neat and I love the glaze!

  17. 17

    bblossoms — January 30, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    Hi Jun,
    Beautiful post on the pineapple tarts. As usual, you are generous in providing many step-by-step photographs-they are all very clear and beautiful. The tarts look inviting. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 3:18 am

      Thank you! This post has been a great challenge to make myself as clear as possible! :)

  18. 18

    Marysol — January 31, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    These pineapple tarts were not at all what I expected to find; they’re better! And unique in shape, as I’m sure in taste, with its fresh pineapple filling.

  19. 19

    mycookinghut — January 31, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    Fantastic looking pineapple tarts, I can see how much joy eating one of these!

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 3:18 am

      Thanks, Leemei!

  20. 20

    Maria @ Scandifoodie — February 1, 2011 @ 1:17 am

    They look gorgeous! I’ve never tried these, but I’m very intrigued!

  21. 21

    Arudhi@aboxofkitchen — February 1, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    My oh my…those nastars look gorgeous! That kind of preciseness is humanely impossible for me :D Btw, I always wonder how people wash/clean their pastry brush. I never get one since I keep worrying about not being able to clean it properly. Any tips?

    • Jun replied: — February 1st, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

      I think soaking them in warm soapy water for a couple of hours will do. But for the bamboo brush (I am using Chinese calligraphy brushes LOL), it is safer to throw them away every half a year. Also, don’t do as I do. Wash them as soon as you are done using. Confession, I don’t. :D

  22. 22

    tigerfish — February 1, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    I always can’t decide between a pineapple tart vs roll. As long as it is good, I’ll take it! :p

  23. 23

    Kimberley — February 3, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    These are just precious!

  24. 24

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — February 3, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

    These look fantastic! It’s funny, I saw another post for these today too that you should check out (it’s on Eat the Love). But, really, these look terrific!

  25. 25

    Sprinkled with Flour — February 4, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    I love pineapple desserts, and this combination of cookie and pineapple has me drooling:) Beautiful photos too!

  26. 26

    Lotfius — February 4, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    Hi, Jun – Thank you for sharing your recipe & tips! These are helpful! I love nastar! I wonder if you can replace the pineapple with durian?

    Do you have any good kwe tiauw recipe? You know, the one with the flat/wide rice noodle? Would like to see you post it if you have one you can share.

    Thank you, and Happy New Year!

    • Jun replied: — February 18th, 2011 @ 7:42 am

      I think you can replace pineapple with durian, but I have never tried before. Kwetiau post is coming up! :D

  27. 27

    Sanjana — February 7, 2011 @ 3:06 am

    Hi Jun, thanks so much for leaving a comment on KO Rasoi so that I could discover your blog. Wow, I love every single thing I see!

  28. 28

    Mrs Ergül — April 18, 2011 @ 2:05 am

    Hi Jun, since I had some leftover pineapple jam from my auntie who made us some pineapple tarts and remembering that you have posted a recipe for it. I finally used up the pineapple jam last weekend. It was a lot of fun as your photos were gorgeous and I doubted I could get anywhere close to what you have made. I will like to know if the crust is in fact kinda fragile? it almost fell apart when I was transferring them after some cooling from the baking tray to the cooling rack. I had to handle them with the utmost care and still some of the crust got squished. Did I do it wrongly or it is supposed to be soft and delicate?

    • Jun replied: — April 20th, 2011 @ 9:44 am

      The dough is really, really delicate. I use a thin cookie spatula when removing them. They are as light as air and literally melt in your mouth. If they are too delicate for you, please knead longer. The less you knead, the more fragile it is. Or add a bit more flour (about 5 percent more).

  29. 29

    Mrs Ergül — April 20, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the tip Jun! I will keep it in mind the next time!

  30. 30

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  31. 31

    Logan Johnson — November 28, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    These I also made for school. A chinese project made fun with these Recipes!! :D Thanks

  32. 32

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  33. 33

    moonshine — January 9, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    I’m using the recipe for this year, and so far the jam is perfect. The tarts not as pretty as yours but extremely tasty and flaky… The only problem is that they look kinda skinny… What size is the piping head you used?

  34. 34

    Nadia — April 14, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    Hello there,

    The boyfriend stumbled upon this recipe and requested if I can give it a try to make them.
    I do have a quick question. When you say corn flour, do you mean cornstarch or corn meal?

    *Nadia S.

    • Jun replied: — April 25th, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

      That would be cornstarch, Nadia.

  35. 35

    candice — June 8, 2012 @ 1:40 am

    The little lady’s story is correct. I am dutch and we call them fougetti. The story behind why we should not be using the core of the pineapple is that the core sometimes plays havoc with people’s tummy since it takes a long time to digest. there is no other myth behind it.I love it myself

  36. 36

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  37. 37

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  38. 38

    Sri — January 12, 2013 @ 2:03 am

    Your idea of rolling the pastry in a folded plastic sheet to get a perfectly shaped rectangle and rolling it like a swiss roll cake is brilliant! I must say I am impressed.

  39. 39

    vnw — January 19, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

    Gorgeous!! I made this cake with round shapes, nice but it took longer. Will try this shape next time.
    I live in NL, but have never seen Dutch ppl sell this here.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  40. 40

    Jolene — January 24, 2013 @ 12:24 am

    Hihi.. One batch can roughly make how many pieces? :)

  41. 41

    Jolene — January 28, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    Is the butter salted or unsalted ?

    • Jun replied: — January 30th, 2013 @ 8:11 am

      I used unsalted. Once I used salted and not much difference. So either one is good.

  42. 42

    Florence Lai — January 31, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    I tried your technique of piping pineapple jam last year, it’s time again to start baking CNY cookies and I must praise you for your love for detail and those photos are professional done too, you certainly have talent in many areas. Keep up the good work and thanks for taking the trouble to illustrate the step by step preparation of your version of pineapple roll :-)

  43. 43

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  44. 44

    Genevieve — January 20, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this…have been wanting to do this but have not been brave enough..You make it soo easy!!

  45. 45

    Sandra — January 20, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

    What kind powdered milk are you using. Thank you

  46. 46

    sunkid — January 22, 2014 @ 10:26 am

    Your recipe looks so awesome I’m trying it out right now. Does it really have to be 40g powdered Milk or can I replace that with anything else? (We don’t have powdered milk here – unless in the pharmecy ;-) ) Thanks!

  47. 47

    Shyma — January 23, 2014 @ 6:18 am

    This looks so brilliant!

  48. 48

    Paige Heng — January 27, 2014 @ 3:02 am

    great to know this pineapple roll, my sis love your way of roll the pastry, so no need to pipe into nastar roll…TQ!

  49. 49

    Angel — February 22, 2014 @ 8:40 am

    I was a little doubtful to try this recipe against a few others famous recipes from other bloggers but I went ahead today after reading a review of someone who had compared this with Ju’s famous recipe and claimed that this recipe was in fact better. ( well there is one more reason cas I am lazy and creaming method suits me better) Anyhow the result was amazing! The tart were so softs, it is really soft and just glide and melt on your tongue. I love it to the core! By the way I read some feedback that the dough was hard to handle and I hence I increase each batch to 60g so the tart is a little thicker! Thank you thank you! Anyone in doubt please give it a try.. It is worth it!

  50. 50

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  51. 51

    Ane — January 13, 2015 @ 8:58 pm

    Thank you for the step by step tutorial…

  52. 52

    May — February 10, 2015 @ 2:17 pm

    I totally LOVE this recipe to BITS! TQ June!
    The cookies were perfect to my taste!

  53. 53

    emily — February 11, 2015 @ 12:27 pm

    Hi jen,thanks for step by step tutorial pics. Can i use chees for filling??if yes, what kind of cheese & how many cheese should i use? How to put it inside cookies?


    • Jun replied: — June 12th, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

      I supposed you could just roll the cheese inside, maybe use some cheddar? However, the pastry is really bland, the pineapple jam inside is the only thing that give it any taste.

  54. 54

    emily — February 11, 2015 @ 11:22 pm

    Hi thanks for share the recipe.could i use cheese for filling? If yes, what kind of cheese & how many cheese should i use? How to put it inside cookies? Mixed with dough or make it round like a ball?

  55. 55

    Angel — February 3, 2016 @ 11:09 am

    150degree is with fan or without fan? I cook it for 15-20min but the tart tats taste underdone. Does the tart suppose to become flaky and taste powdery the next day? Just to clarify. Thanks!

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