Pineapple tarts are to Chinese New Year as pumpkin pie is to an American Thanksgiving. Despite being Malaysian is origin, it's not Chinese New Year without them. In Hokkien, a dialect from the same areas where the pastries originate from the word for pineapple translates to "fortune come". Giving pineapple cookies is like wishing fortune in the new year upon the receiver.
The pineapple jam is made beforehand and then placed on top of a butter cookie and baked.
1 can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 c. water
1/4 - 1/2 c. sugar, depending on personal preference
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp. clear gel (optional)
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
10 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
3 - 4 Tbsp. cold water
In a small saucepan combine the pineapple, water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, just until the pineapple is a dark golden and the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the clear gel if using. Set aside.
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is cut in to the flour some, but not even small enough to be pea sized. In a separate bowl stir together the egg, 3 tablespoons water, and vinegar. Add to the food processor until combined, adding more water a little at a time as needed. Cover with plastic, or I put in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out to about an 1/8th of an inch thick. But in to small, a little over 1 inch, circles. Top with 1/2 a teaspoon of the pineapple jam. Use the leftover pieces of crust to create the criss-cross on top. It's totally optional. We did for one pan and then didn't for the last three, it was too much work.
Bake at 400 for 16 - 20 minutes or until the base is cooked. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool. Made approximately 4 1/2 dozen.