Pineapple Tarts Using Airfryer

January 20, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

For the Chinese, different food and numbers represent different symbolisms. These in turn affect our diet and actions especially during the festive Chinese New Year (CNY) period. For instance, when we go house-visiting, we usually bring along a pair of mandarin oranges. Oranges (柑橘) represent wealth, good fortune, gold, so it's auspicious and something we like to bless our loved ones with. 

The pineapple is also an important symbol of good wealth, fortune and prosperity as its Hokkien word is pronounced as ông-lâi. It sounds like ōng (旺) "luck" or "fortune"  lâi (來) "coming", so pineapple tarts are usually one of the must-eats during the CNY period.

We all love pineapple tarts as the tangy sour taste of pineapple jam complement well with its lovely buttery crust. However, with each tin of pineapple tarts now costing more than S$30 from hotels, we decided to share our open-faced pineapple tarts recipe - using the airfryer of course. They are melt-in-the-mouth, and homemade food is always cheaper, healthier and without the preservatives.

Have fun and let us know how your pineapple tarts turn out. 恭禧發財 & 新年快樂 to our all readers!

[Update: Jan 2017] If you would like to bake Golf Ball Pineapple Tarts, click here for my other recipe :) 

Chinese New Year Pineapple Tarts
Yield: 20 pieces


Tart crust
140g plain flour
2 tbs corn flour
2 tbs icing sugar
20g custard powder (see photo below)
a pinch of salt
100g butter, cold and unsalted
Custard powder

1 egg yolk, beaten
up to 2 tsp cold water - if required

(C) Egg wash - Optional
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp water

180g pineapple jam, ready-made
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder - Optional


1. Sieve all the ingredients in (A), except the butter, into a cold mixing bowl.

Tips: I usually use a metallic mixing bowl to keep the bowl cold for a longer time.

2. Add the cold butter and gently rub the butter onto the flour until the texture become like fine breadcrumbs. Take care not to overwork the dough.

Tips #1: This is called the rubbing-in method and a crucial point is to keep the batter cold during the process. As such, do use plastic gloves while rubbing so that less heat from your hands is transferred. Use the tips of your fingers too.
Tips #2: Also, use butter that is cut into small pieces so that you can finish the rubbing process faster while keeping the mixture cold. I like to use the small 10g-packs for convenience.

3. Add the egg yolk and gently knead to form the dough. If more liquid is needed to bind the dough, add a little cold water (bit by bit) until you get the desired texture.

4. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Wrap in 2 cling-wrap batches and chill for at least 30 min till they become firm.

5. Meanwhile, you can now prepare the pineapple jam. Take out the required amount from the ready-made pack. 

6. Add the lemon juice (and cinnamon powder, optional) into the jam. Use 2 forks to loosen the pineapple jam and fibres, at the same time combining the jam, lemon juice and cinnamon powder together.  

Tips #1: When using jam from the ready-made pack, it is crucial to loosen the jam as it is usually very tightly-packed. You don't want to end up having pineapple tarts with hard toppings!
Tips #2: Ready-made pineapple jam can be quite sweet, so the lemon juice gives a nice tangy taste. However, if you don't like the sour undertones, you can replace the lemon juice with warm water.
Left: Before
Right: After (after loosening up the fibres)

7. Roll the pineapple jam into balls of 6g each.

8. By now, the dough should be firm enough and ready. Dust the working surface, cutter and rolling pin with flour.  Preheat the airfryer at 150 degrees for 5 min.

Tips: If you prefer having less flour to clean up later, you can roll the dough out in between 2 sheets of parchment paper instead. But do remember to still dust the cutter with flour! 

9. Remove the 1st batch of dough from the fridge and roll out flat till about 5 to 7mm thickness. Cut into the desired shape/ pattern using the cutter. You should be able to cut out about 10 pieces.

10. Spread the 10 pieces out on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. 
Optional: Brush the crust with egg wash (egg yolk + water) lightly and evenly.

Tips: I like to improvise the steaming rack as my baking tray, as the airfryer works best with good airflow circulation (see photo below).

11. Bake the tart crust at 150 degrees for 6 min.

12. When the 6 min is up, open the airfryer basket and add the pineapple jam balls in the middle of each tart crust. Close the basket and continue baking at 150 degrees for another 5 min till the tart becomes golden brown.

Tips: It is important to add the pineapple jam only at the last 5 min to ensure that it doesn't become burnt and dried up.

13. Repeat Steps #10 to 13 for the other batch of dough.

Tips: It is recommended to work on the dough in batches, as firm dough creates clearer imprints.

14. Cool the pineapple tarts well before storing in an airtight container. 

Tips: You can store them for up to a week at room temperature, but I would recommend that you put them in the fridge as there are no preservatives. Enjoy!

Update (26 Jan 2016)
These are Evelyn Ng's melt-in-the-mouth pineapple tarts using our recipe! She baked them almost as soon as this recipe was posted. Looks so professional, just like store-bought! 
Credits: Evelyn Ng

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