This golden Homemade Pineapple Jam is the perfect filling for mini tarts and thumbprint cookies with just the right amount of sweetness and tartness.
There were only two kinds of jam prepared at home when I was growing up. One was the ever popular kaya or coconut jam used as a spread on toast. This was prepared year round. The other was Pineapple Jam prepared close to the Chinese New Year for the specific purpose of making Pineapple Jam Tarts.
Auspicious-Sounding Foods for Chinese New Year
For those not familiar with the Chinese culture in Malaysia and Singapore you may be wondering, “Why pineapple jam tarts?” Apart from it being one of the tastiest cookies around, the other reason is the Chinese obsession with auspicious-sounding foods for the Chinese New Year celebrations. You see, the Fujianese word for pineapple is ong lai which literally means “Prosperity come!” Now, who wouldn’t want to usher in the New Year with that? A no-brainer if you ask me. 😉
Homemade Pineapple Jam
As far back as I can remember, Pineapple Jam was always homemade. That has changed in recent years and to my surprise, bakery supply shops in Malaysia and Singapore now sell prepackaged pineapple jam. These amazing stores did not exist back then. They sell all kinds of bake ware and ingredients. I can spend several hours in there and still have to be reluctantly dragged out. So much fun to have everything you need in one store. No wonder baking has become so popular in that part of the world. That said, specialty bakery stores are clustered only in the big cities and so most people will still have to rely on good ol’ Homemade Pineapple Jam.
Personally, I think homemade is the best but life is short. If it is available where you live and you need a break, I say “Go for it!” Do come back though for my Pineapple Jam Tarts recipe coming up next on this blog. I have made some improvements to a family recipe and let’s say I am very, very happy with the results. You don’t want to miss it. 😀
Now, back to this delicious jam. It is really easy to prepare and should really be made year round. You only need 4 ingredients – pineapple, sugar, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to suit your personal taste.
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Homemade Pineapple Jam
- Cut off pineapple skin and remove eyes that are remaining. Quarter the pineapples lengthwise and cut off the core. Then cut pineapple quarters into chunks.
- Blend pineapple chunks in a blender. Pour into a strainer to remove some of the juices. Transfer to a deep saucepan. Do this in several batches. Discard or save pineapple juice for drinking.
- Place saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add sugar, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
- Cover and cook for approximately 55 minutes or until most of the juices have evaporated. Do stir every now and then to prevent the jam from burning.
- Remove the lid and start stirring the jam until it is quite dry and golden brown in color. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon stick and cloves. Transfer to a jar and allow it to cool completely.
Pineapple Jam Tarts
There are several ways to make Pineapple Jam Tarts. Traditionally, they are open-faced cookies molded with brass and wooden cookie cutters shown below. Today, you are more likely to find plastic molds. Do not fret if you can’t find these mold or cookie cutters. I will show you how to make them look just as pretty. The other way is to totally wrap the jam with the dough but that will be for another post. Perhaps I will do that next year.
Did you notice my heart-shaped mold? I made some heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day coming up in just a few days. A delicious way to surprise your sweetie especially if Pineapple Jam Tarts are new to you. 😉
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎