Come every Lunar New Year, you will find pineapple rolls/tarts being sold like hot cakes here in Singapore and Malaysia. It ranks top in the list of popular baked pastries among Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese celebrating this festive season. While they come in many variations (and ranges in taste, texture, and sweetness), we can simply place them into either the open, closed or rolled types. The rolled type, known as Nastar in Indonesia, is the one I liked best as it has the right combination of texture and taste that suits my taste bud.
I am a picky eater when it comes to eating pineapple rolls or tarts, and I find it hard to find in the market the “perfect” roll/tart that can satisfy my craving. So I decided to make them at home. The last time I tried my hands on making these rolls was a decade ago! It was a fun and enjoyable experience. Being ambitious, I even bought a custom-made press to squeeze out the pineapple roll pastry but it has laid idle for six good years. (Dear old press, thanks for being so patient and loyal to me.)
Finally, my guilt got the best of me and I decided to use it to make my own pineapple rolls for this coming Lunar New Year. The only problem is “memory lapse” . I could not recall my “decade-old” recipe. Not even a single clue! Oh gosh! (Hmm! Time for an overhaul service for my memory? Your highness (that’s right, you my husband), can you kindly approve my leave application for memory recall R&R as soon as possible? )
Luckily, I managed to compile a handful of pineapple roll recipes from other food bloggers and cookbooks to recall and make comparison. Even though no one particular recipe actually met what I was looking for, there are two great references that I relied a lot when making these pineapple rolls. They are found in “Baking Made Easy” by Agnes Chang and “At Home with Amy Beh” by Amy Beh respectively.
Not to forget my good blogger friend Selba from Selby’s Food Corner (whose mother is an experienced Nastar baker and has been selling it for more than ten years) who unselfishly gave me very valuable advice and tips. Thanks Selba!!! One very important advice from her is “If you want to have the best pineapple jam, either you grate the pineapples yourself or you buy the jam. Never blend them.” Yes, I totally agreed with her, which I will explain in the following paragraph. Besides grating your pineapples, getting the right type of pineapple grater is also equivalently important if you are looking for the finest fibrous texture.
Never take any short-cut of blending your pineapples. I did that once and was very upset even though my pastry turned out delicious and crumbly. My hubby (who initially didn’t mind with the blending method) also got addicted to the fibrous and chewy jam texture made from grated pineapples. You can definitely tell the difference if you had a chance to taste and compare both versions.
Both the jam and pastry have to be done properly. They must compliment each other. And, having the correct proportion of jam and pastry is of utmost important and the key to success. I weight each jam roll to be exactly 6 gram as I find the final product comes out best when munched in the mouth. Neither too much pastry nor jam. Just the right proportion for maximum enjoyment. Preferably, the overall size of the roll is just big enough for one mouthful to have the melt-in-the-mouth feeling. This is the art of eating. My ultimate goal to have a “perfect” pineapple roll! So my advice is, you will need to adjust the size of the jam you use to match the size of the pastry.
Tum…tum….tummmmm! (drumroll) Let me now present to you my “exclusive” recipe that will churn out the best pineapple rolls in town. (Just joking! ). But if you follow the recipe closely, you will get the melt-in-the mouth pastry combined with fibrous jam texture.
I must however forewarn you. Although this recipe is very simple-to-follow, it’s very time-consuming. You need to have patience. If not, please go to buy the ready-made ones.
If you’re craving for the authentic pineapple rolls like I do, it’s definitely worth spending the time and effort to make these rolls. It’s simply very rewarding. Once you start putting one of these bite-size pineapple rolls into your mouth, you can never stop the temptation of having another, and another, and………
>>>> Click onto get the recipe, tips and more photos on how to make pineapple jam ……………
>>>> Click onto get the recipe, tips and more photos on how to make pineapple rolls ………….. If you like this article, please share: