This famous pastry from Taiwan are usually enjoyed on Chinese New Year, but I thought they’d be a different treat that you can bake and enjoy with your family for Mid-Autumn Festival. Also, I will also be using the mooncake press to make these, so they will appear like a mooncake.
Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes, sometimes known as called Pineapple Tarts or Pineapple Shortbread or Pineapple Shortcake or Pineapple Pastry are one of Taiwan’s top selling food souvenirs. You can spot these all throughout the Taiwan Airport.
These traditionally square-shaped pastries are encased in a milky buttery shortbread, and the filling is a pineapple jam made with real crushed pineapples. Sometimes winter melon is used as a cheaper substitute, but we got to use real pineapple for this!
WHERE TO FIND MOONCAKE PRESSES/MOULDS?
These can be purchased online with various retailers on Amazon. Also you can purchase them locally in Vancouver BC (my hometown) at Tinland Cookware in Chinatown (260 East Pender Street). Or feel free to make them in their traditional square shaped. You will need square moulds, you can find them also at Tinland Cookware or on Amazon.
WHERE TO MILK POWDER?
Can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
Mid-Autumn Festival related posts:
Rainbow Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes
Pineapple Jam Filling 1-1/2 cup Crushed Fresh Pineapples (20oz) - Substitute with canned crushed pineapple 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar 1/4 Cup Golden Syrup or Maltose Syrup or Cornsyrup (60 grams) pinch of Salt 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour Shortbread Crust 3/4 Cup Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces (180 grams) 1/2 Cup Powdered Icing Sugar (60 grams) a pinch of kosher salt 1/2 Cup Skim Milk Powder (60 grams) 2 Large Egg Yolks (30 grams) 2 Cups Cake Flour(260 grams) Food Colouring
Strain most of the liquid from the pureed pineapple/crushed pineapple.
Add the pineapple to a skillet and cook on low to medium heat for 10 minutes until the excess liquid evaporates.
Next add the sugar and salt, and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the syrup and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Most of the liquid should be gone. Next add the all-purpose flour. Stir and cook. The mixture should thicken up and you can see that the mixture holds its’ shape as it is being stirred. Cook for another 3 minutes to cook out any of the flour taste.
Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.
Refrigerate to cool. Minimum 2 hours. The mixture should be completely cool when you work with it and it should be easy to roll into small balls.
To make the shortbread add the butter, icing sugar, kosher salt, and milk powder into a food processor. Let it mix for 1 minute, it will form loose chunks.
Next add the egg yolks into a food processor. Turn it on to mix together, about 30 seconds. It will be a smooth sticky mixture, texture will be similar to soft butter.
Divide the mixture into 4 bowls, or however many colours you plan to make divide accordingly. Since I was doing 4 colours, I did 4 portions.
Add a drop of your chosen food colouring into one portion, the next chosen food colouring dropped into the next portion, and so on. Mix together until the colour is uniform.
Next, divide the cake flour into 4 portions (or however many colours you plan to make)
Add 1 portion of the cake flour to the butter-egg mixture and mix together until the dough comes together.
Wrap all the dough up in plastic wrap and set aside until you are ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Divide the pineapple jam into 20 gram portions and roll into about 16 balls. The filling will be sticky to work with.
Divide each shortbread dough colour portion into about 7.5 grams (1.5 teaspoon) shape between palms to form round balls.
Take a piece of plastic wrap and stretch over your work surface make sure it is as smooth as possible.
Take one of each coloured shortbread dough. Place together and flatten on the plastic wrap with your palms.
Place the filling in the centre of the flatten shortbread.
Slowly wrap the shortbread around the filling and seal the filling completely on the top. Try to have the shortbread as smooth as possible.
Form the dough slightly with your palms to fit into the mooncake press.
Place the dough onto the baking sheet.
Place the dough balling the mould and press down to shape. Push the dough out of the mould onto the baking sheet.
Repeat until all the dough and filing is used.
Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven to bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack, or you can eat immediately with tea. Whatever your prefer!
Pineapple Jam Filling - makes about 350g
Shortbread Crust - makes about 575g
Store in a air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer, store in a air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.