It’s almost Chinese New Year again – my happiest and saddest time of the year. Happy, because it means I’ve made it another year, and that everyone I know in Singapore is having an awesome time gorging themselves of delicious and lavish foods. Sad, because I’m here in the US and none of that is happening for me. I really miss Chinese New Year in Singapore. I haven’t been back for Chinese New Year in 6 years! Imagine all the hong baos I was missing out on! This year, however, would be my first CNY as a married person, thus would no longer be collecting hong baos but giving out hong baos instead (though some people say that couples can be exempted for the first year so that they get that time to ‘catch up’ and make a baby for next year, so that they have some way to recoup their ‘losses’.) Not for us though, although we won’t be physically around for CNY, we are giving hong baos to my grandparents, parents, siblings and first cousins, and everyone’s hong baos have already been desposited into their bank accounts.
For a CNY teaser this year, I’m posting some pictures of a few pineapple tart styles that we see often in Singapore. Pineapple tarts are by far far far my favorite CNY snack, and I made a batch this year because it would not be like CNY here at all, if I had no pineapple tarts, to me at least. So, here are four styles pineapple tarts come in in Singapore (or that I remember.) I will post them from my favorite shape, to my least favorite shape, and I will post the recipe tomorrow – don’t worry! HERE’S THE RECIPE!
My favorite pineapple tarts look like flowers. Mine here aren’t that beautiful, because I did not have a mold and used a round cookie cutter instead. These can be very elaborate on the edges. I love these the most because they are easy to make compared to mandarins, and also because you can very easily tell which tart has the most pineapple stuffing in it. Yes, that’s my tam chiak gui nickname at work!
My next favorite pineapple tarts look like mandarins, because these have been the tarts my grandmother makes, and that I grew up with. I think they are so cute with a little clove sticking out of it. However, these are super time consuming to make – for the time it takes to make one of these, I can probably make four flower-styled ones, and one must also have a very light hand when rolling out the little balls. Eating them also prove to be a problem for lazy folks like me because the clove is inedible (or rather, you don’t want to eat a whole clove!) so there must be a trash receptacle nearby. Because of these reasons, they are my second most favorite shape, although I think they are the cutest looking ones!
Pineapple shaped ones are next. These remind me of 菠萝包 boluo bao. They very vaguely resemble pineapples from the shape, and the stylized criss-cross pattern, but other than that, they are just little globules of pineapples. They are as time-consuming to make as the mandarins, but the mandarins look better (in my opinion.)
Rolls are my least favorite shape because they remind me of pigs in a blanket, which is nothing like CNY food, and is somewhat gross. I also despise rolls because they are the easiest and least time consuming to make – you make a long roll of them, then just cut them out into smaller rolled pieces. These are the epitome for laziness when it comes to pastry, which I won’t mind if it looks cute, but it doesn’t. Also, the pastry to pineapple ratio is not right!
So, here you are. My 4 styles of pineapple tarts that you can find in Singapore. Hope you like this post, and check back in TOMORROW – I will publish the recipe then! HERE’S THE RECIPE!