Ah, the pastry of celebrations. Pineapple tarts are now so popular you can find them at most Asian bakeries, all year round. But the best ones only rear their gleaming, egg-brushed tops once a year. Here are five non-commercially made tarts
First published on 16 Jan 2012. Updated on 21 Jun 2012.
Simplicity is embraced at this nondescript, family-run bakery that’s stacked with red-lid bottles. Baking home-made festive treats using their own recipes, Poh Guan Cake House (169 MacPherson Rd; 6288 1693, www.pohguan.com.sg) makes the classics desirable. A perfectly shaped, melon-balled jam is placed atop a small cookie affording good, flavourful balance with a bite of soft shortbread and chewy, tart jam; the cheesy tarts have also garnered a following. 30-32 pieces $16.
Tart of darkness
It’s black and it’s gold – Home’s Favourite’s (266 Joo Chiat Rd; 6272 2028, www. homesfavourite.com) striking tart is made with sesame-seed paste, an ingredient that adds density and fragrance to the already decadent treat. Founder Jason Lee based the recipe on his mother’s baking to preserve the family tradition. 32 black pieces $23.80; 32 traditional pieces $20.80.
Fifty years after it first surfaced, Le Café Confectionery and Pastry (264 Middle Rd; 6337 2417; www.lecafe.com.sg) densely packed jam is still a couple of hearty mouthfuls of perfectly balanced tartness and body. The pastry thickness differs all around, but the ratio of filling to pineapple remains even and smooth. The golden-yellow-domed tart is delightfully powdery and delicately crumbly. 10 pieces $8.50; prices can increase closer to the festive season.
Second to Nonya
Apart from table service, the mother-son operation True Blue Cuisine (47/49 Armenian St; 6440 0449, www.truebluecuisine.com) is also a retail store offering traditional, handmade Nonya delicacies. Among them are the coveted open-faced, disc-shaped tarts. Reminiscent of a generous English jam-topped biscuit, the thickness of the molasses-like fibrous jam equals that of the biscuit. Pick from soft, short-crust or Nonya-style crisp pastry dough for the base. Six large or 12 medium pieces both $22.
Earning its stripes
Cute sells, and Xin Tian Di Bakery (#01-160, 51 Old Airport Rd Food Centre & Shopping Mall, Old Airport Rd) has stumbled on a winning formula with its mouse- and tiger-shaped tarts. The finessed treats sold at the hawker stall are not just good for gawking. Though slightly crumbly, the form still manages to hold together between bites, and the less fibrous quality of the pineapple helps the edible creatures retain their shape. Mixed pack of six $4.50, includes two types of mouse with sliced-almond ears and a tiger; box of four yellow mice $2.