Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A bite of this and Luck is on your way!

Nyonya Pineapple Tart
♥ Nyonya Pineapple Tart
This is homemade Nyonya pineapple tart, a festive delicacy much loved and adored during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya (Malay's new year). The Chinese believes that pineapple attracts prosperity and will bestowed good luck upon one's self.

Pineapple, feng li 鳳梨, literary means the phoenix pear. It is also commonly known as 黃梨: huang li (Mandarin) or wong lai (Cantonese) or ong lai (Hokkien); meaning the yellow pear or if you like, the golden pear. The common name vowels with the term for attracting prosperity: wong or ong to prosperity and lai to attract. For a more detailed description in the significance of pineapple in Chinese culture, see my Taiwanese pineapple cake post.

And so you ask, whether I was the one behind the making of these yummy looking golden nuggets. My answer is gonna disappoint because no, I did not make these delicious looking golden nuggets. In fact, these pineapple tarts came directly from Malaysia! Yes, airflown (actually handcarried back by ShinChan) to Sydney and handled with extreme care. It was a gift from my dearest friend in Kuala Lumpur.

Closer Look at Pineapple Tart
♥ Sweet, Citric and Buttery
A sweet, citric and buttery aroma escaped from the container the moment I opened the lid after a slight struggle in tearing away the stickytape seal. This aroma is just so addictive. I would open the container and simply enjoy the dainty aroma. This is, in fact, a dangerous act because it is so easy to lost selfcontrol and before you realise it, you have already conducted a pig-out session. At least this was what happened to me many times! Now you know I have very poor self-control when it comes to sweet things.

Crumb has Melt in Your Mouth Texture
♥ Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pastry
The pastry has a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is definitely very very more-ish. On biting, the pastry crumbles softly and dissolves upon contact with the heat in your mouth.

Filled with Absolutely Scrumptious Pineapple Jam
♥ Sweet Golden Delicious Pineapple Centre
The pineapple filling, on the other hand, has quite a bit of tangy bites to it. A perfect match to the soft crumbly pastry. The filling in this particular pineapple tart is a little fibrous so it is a little chunkier and involves quite a bit of bite when eating. There is also pineapple tarts with a smoother and silkier filling. I prefer the chunky one.

I am addicted to pineapple tarts. Mentioned Chinese New Year, I immediately think of kuih mur and nyonya pineapple tart. The culprit to the addiction must be the combination of the slightly sweetened pastry with the sweet yet tangy pineapple filling. The golden colour and the sweet tangy aroma proves very inviting too.

This container with 3 layers of pineapple tarts was finished within 3 weeks, well before Chinese New Year even arrived. I am such a pig, I know. And this probably explains why all my clothes have shrunk. *yikes*

See Jo's Deli Bakery for a recipe of Nyonya Pineapple Tart. I haven't tried her recipe yet. I am actually looking for a simpler version and also for a smaller quantity. Nonetheless, I have got my hands on the pineapple jam and it proves very popular around the house. It has now become a breakfast staple and is disappearing fast!

I have yet to get my hands on the pastry. *sigh* Not to mention today is the last day of Chinese New Year: Yuan Xiao Jie - the Lantern Festival. A night to admire the beautifully lit lanterns and also a night for some Chinese riddles! Be sure to snuggle up closely with your honey/sweetheart because the Lantern Festival is also Chinese Valentine's!

Happy Chinese Valentine's, everyone! Be sure to ladle up some hot steaming yuan xiao (glutinous rice ball, similar to tang yuan but different in making) tonight.

ps. It's also Brunei's National Day today. Here's to all Bruneians: Happy Brunei Day (?)