By : Samantha Koh
24 July 2014
As a child, I’ve always loved festive occasions and celebrations. I love the idea of having gatherings with friends and relatives, enjoying delicious food, and making merry. And festive occasions are often public holidays too – now, who doesn’t like a day off from school or work?
I celebrate Chinese New Year and Christmas but thanks to the ethnic mix of neighbours in my HDB block, I’ve been very blessed to be able to ‘celebrate’ Hari Raya and Deepavali as well. I owe this to the fact that my neighbours are often generous in inviting my family to join them in their celebrations. Sometimes, we are greeted early in the morning with delicious home-made goodies!
A neighbour who has become a close family friend is Aunty Salamah, who always extends a helping hand with a cheerful smile. My mum and Aunty Salamah are a tight-knit pair often seen together in the neighbourhood as they go about their marketing and breakfast activities.
With Hari Raya just around the corner, Aunty Salamah invited my mum over to bake pineapple tarts together. Her melt-in-your-mouth tarts are not to be missed (I recall ingesting ten pineapple tarts in one go last year)… so I jumped at the prospect of tasting the yummy tarts again, and tagged along on the pretext of picking up some baking tips
I shall let the pictures do the talking:
All the ingredients for a fun day of baking!
Aunty Salamah showing my mum how to mix in the butter, flour, and eggs
“Place it in to bake for 25 minutes”
Yummy pineapple tarts (now in my belly)
Friends who bake together, stay together
It was indeed a fun (and gastronomic) experience for both my mum and I as we learnt first-hand the secrets to baking these buttery delights. The session also made me look forward to visiting Aunty’s house again on Hari Raya for the pretty decorations and of course, indulge in more delicious snacks.
It is indeed a blessing to be able to join in the festive celebrations of other races, and learn more about their culture and traditions. Neighbours like Aunty Salamah have shown me how simple acts like sharing food, or giving a warm greeting, can foster lasting friendships. I look forward to learning more recipes and also baking some pineapple tarts for her in return when I’ve mastered the recipe.
And of course, good things are meant to be shared, so I’ve reproduced the recipe to those scrumptious pineapple tarts (with Aunty’s permission) :). Enjoy!
• 350g butter, at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon of milk powder
• 500g plain/all-purpose flour
• 1 egg yolk
• 500g pineapple filling (we used a ready-made jam, but you can make your own as well :))
1) Preheat oven at 180 degrees
2) Cream butter and milk powder together
3) Add in the egg yolk and mix till combined
4) Mix in flour until a soft, but not sticky, dough is formed
5) Knead dough lightly with your hands for about 5 minutes
6) Wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
7) Meanwhile, roll pineapple filling into balls, about 2cm in diameter
8) Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface, to about 7mm thick
9) Using a pineapple tart mould, cut out the tarts and transfer to a lined baking tray
10) Place pineapple balls on the pastry tarts (and then decorate the top with some dough if you’d like)
11) Bake for 25 minutes
12) Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes
13) Place delicious pineapple tarts in mouth and enjoy! Or for those with restraint, store them in an air-tight container
Here’s wishing all our Muslim friends a Selamat Hari Raya in advance! Are you celebrating the upcoming festivities with your neighbours? Drop us a comment on our Facebook page!