These Pineapple Tarts which look more like cookies with Pineapple Jam are a Singaporean must-have during Chinese New Year. Why do we love them so much? Because the dialect version of Pineapples "Wang Lai" (Teochew) or "Ong Lai" (Hokkien) sounds like the Chinese words meaning "Prosperity is coming". And for us, Prosperity includes Wealth and all the good things that make our lives comfortable. Some may deem this tradition to be superstition but for us, it is part of our culture and hence needs to be cherished.
Of course, my lovely Aunt (who had departed) made the best Pineapple Tarts in the world. I still recalled the times when me, my mum and Aunt went to the Wet Market (where all the fresh groceries, fish and poultry are sold) at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and dragged some 30 ripe Pineapples all the way to my Aunt's house. After that, she would painstackingly peel, wash and shred each of them before chucking them into a huge wok to cook. These shredded Pineapples were then cooked for hours till perfection. It's a labourious task but for my Aunt, she would even make sure that every single tart had to be of equal thickness and every single corner be crimped properly. For my Aunt, she never allowed any single mistake in her tarts.
This is my first attempt on my own without the supervision of my Aunt. I had to use canned Pineapples as it was cheaper than the fresh fruit. I did every single thing that she taught me but they were still no where near what my Aunt's standard. I was lazy and only managed 24. I made some too thin and some tarts were darker than others. Of course, the flavour of canned Pineapples is not as good as the fresh ones. It lacks the fragrance and tartness.
So till the next batch of Pineapple tarts attempt. Happy baking!! (Sorry I can't include the recipe. My Aunt wanted it to be secret. )