I had my first bite of the Taiwanese Pineapple Shortbread about 16 years ago in Taiwan. It was called “Taiwanese Pineapple Cake” then. I bought it from a souvenir shop. It was like a little golden coloured box and when I bit into it, it just crumbled and melted in my mouth and the pineapple filling was so aromatic (I found out later that some of the Taiwanese bakeries actually mix candied winter melon puree for that additional flavour) and just about right in sweetness.
Here, I am sharing with you an almost similar recipe but better because you will be using the best ingredients! It is cheap, very easy and fast to make! If you are generous and not greedy, you can serve these awesome buttery pineapple shortbreads to your guests or give it away as a Chinese New Year gift. You don’t have to give a jarful or hundreds. You can make one for each member of the family and wrap it attractively.
These pineapple shortbreads are best served with hot tea.
Serves: 12 pieces
HOME-MADE PINEAPPLE FILLING
1 kg grated fresh ripe pineapple (about 2 medium pineapples)
250 g caster sugar or more
3 cm cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 pandan leaves
2 teaspoons golden syrup
- Squeeze out some of the juice from the grated pineapple and either drink it or discard it.
- Put all the ingredients into a non-stick pan and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
- Lower the heat and cook further for about 20 minutes stirring constantly over a low flame till the jam is thick enough to be rolled into balls. You need to check the consistency – if it is too hard or too sticky, splash about 50 ml water and mix evenly.
- Remove and discard cinnamon stick and pandan leaves.
- Cool the jam thoroughly and roll into twelve cherry-sized balls (20 g each). Keep it refrigerated for about 20 minutes before using.
TO MAKE THE PASTRY
250 g pineapple filling (home-made or shop bought)
200 g cake flour
40 g icing sugar
30 g milk powder
30 g custard powder
70 g Q.B.B. Pure Ghee, chilled and diced
700 g salted butter, chilled and diced
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Divide pineapple filling into 12 portions and shape into balls. Keep aside.
- Sift flour, icing sugar, milk powder and custard powder into a bowl.
- Add Q.B.B. Pure Ghee and butter and rub in till the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Knead to form a soft dough and divide into 12 portions (about 40 g each).
- Flatten the dough lightly and place a ball of pineapple filling on it. Wrap the dough round the pineapple filling.
- Place this into a square metal mould and press lightly to flatten on BOTH sides.
- Place on non-stick paper.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown – FLIP ONCE during baking.
- Cool before unmoulding.