One of my favorite things in the world is the Pineapple Cake (鳳梨酥, fènglísū), which are made out of butter, flour, egg, sugar, and pineapple jam. It’s delicious with some Oolong tea or coffee, both as breakfast and afternoon tea time.
Recipe from Kirbie Cravings
2 (20 oz) cans crushed pineapples, drained
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup corn syrup
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
250 grams cake flour
60 grams icing sugar
¼ cup fat free milk powder
¼ cup custard powder
180 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
1. In a medium, nonstick saucepan, add drained crushed pineapples. Bring to a simmer on the stove and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until most of the excess liquid evaporates and mixture thickens.
2. Stir in sugar, corn syrup and honey. Cook mixture at a low simmer for about 40 minutes, until it becomes quite thick, with very little liquid. Stir occasionally. You may also want to taste it a few minutes after everything is mixed together to see if the filling is sweet enough. If not, you can add a little more sugar. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Pour filling into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. You can leave it for several hours or even make it the day before. You want the filling to be completely cooled when you work with it.
3. To make the pastry, add all ingredients except egg yolks into a food processor. Turn on and let it mix for about 2 minutes or until it becomes little balls of dough. See photo above; they look like dippin dots. At first the dough will turn very crumbly as your food processor breaks down the butter, but it will eventually turn soft into the little dough balls. If you want to try the recipe without egg yolks (as discussed in my notes), you can just squeeze these dough balls together to form one big ball of dough. Otherwise, add egg yolks in and pulse for about 1 minute, until smooth dough forms (shown in photo above).
4. Scoop out 1.5 tbsp dough balls and shape between palms to form round balls. Continue until all dough is used up. Set aside.
5. Take pineapple filling from fridge. Scoop out 1 tbsp of filling and compress between palms. Filling will be sticky and wet to work with. Gently roll between palms to shape into balls. Make enough filling balls to match the dough balls.
6. Lightly grease the inside of your square molds, by brushing them with oil.
7. Take a sheet of plastic wrap and stretch over flat surface, keeping it as smooth as possible. I found that plastic wrap really helped to make these cakes pretty. You want the plastic wrap to be smooth because your dough will have creases if your plastic wrap has creases. Take one of your dough balls and place it on top of the plastic wrap. Press down with your palm until it spreads out to a thin round. You want the round to be just big enough that it will wrap over the filling. It may take a few tries to determine the best length to stretch your round to. The round should be thin because the pastry is supposed to be only a thin layer of crust. However, keep the middle section of your round slightly thicker and thin out more on the edges. This way, when you bunch all the edges together to seal your pastry, the bunched edges won’t become too thick, which would make one side of your cake uneven.
8. Place a pineapple filling ball in the middle of your round. Lift one side of plastic wrap and peel the round from that side. You should be able to easily peel it off and the bottom side of the round should be completely smooth. Lift round completely from plastic wrap and then cover your pineapple filling with the dough, sealing the edges on top, attempting to smooth them as much as possible.
9. Place your square mold on top of the plastic wrap. Place your dough ball inside the square, with the bunch up ends side facing up, smooth side facing down. Carefully push and spread your ball until it spreads out completely across the square mold. It may take a few tries to get the hang of it. The dough should fit completely inside the mold. Try to smooth the surface of the dough as much as possible. Flip over. The underside of your dough should look nearly completely smooth and should fill the entire square mold. One of the photos above show both the finished smooth side and the side with the bunched edges.
10. Place mold, with the smooth side facing up, on a baking sheet lined with silicone mats or parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350F. While your oven is heating up, finish making the rest of your pineapple cakes.
11. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops turn a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. After about 15 minutes, gently push the cakes out the molds. You can eat immediately or wait for them to finish cooling. Store any uneaten ones in an airtight container at room temperate. Because these have a fruit filling, do not store for too many days.