Since pineapples are in season at the moment (I bought one weighing about 2kg for only AUD$3.00 this week), so decided to experiment further on making the microwaved pineapple filling for pineapple tarts.
This was the pineapple, weighing 2kg with the green top off, I used for making the pineapple filling.
I did it properly this time, no thickener added, and it went rather well. Since I was not sure how long it took to properly cook the filling to the best consistency in the microwave, I did overcooked it by a few minutes, and have to rehydrate the filling by adding more pinerapple juice back to the dry filling. However, with the lesson learnt, I can now gauge the correct timing for next time. With my microwave of 650W power, I can now safely say that it will take 22-25 minutes to cook the pineapple filling to the right consistency in the mocrowave, and the best thing is you don’t have to stir it continuously!
Makes approx. 500g filling
2kg whole pineapple (weight with top off)
330 (1 1/2 cups) white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3cm cinnamon quill *
3 cloves *
1 segment of a star anise *
These spices are what make the Pineapple Tarts what they are, aroma of the South East Asia, but you may omit them if you prefer.
1. Peel and remove eyes from the pineapple. Using a coarse grater, grate the pineapple, discard core. You should now have about 1.25kg of grated pineapple.
2. Drain the grated pineapple. Then lightly squeeze the pulp with your hands to remove excess juice. You should now have about 3 cups (750ml) of pineapple juice and 2 cups (500g) of moist pineapple pulp. Keep the pineapple juice for drinking. (Alternatively, use muslin to squeeze out the excess juice from the drained pulp. Don’t squeeze it too dry. If you have squeezed the pulp too dry, you have to add about 1/2 cup juice back to the pulp when you start cooking it in the next step of preparation.)
3. Put the pineapple pulp into a microwave-safe jug. Add sugar, salt and spices. (Add 1/2 cup pineapple juice if the pulp is squeezed really dry.)
The ingredients for making pineapple filling.
Stir all the ingredients to mix well before starting to microwave.
4. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 10 minutes (my microwave is 650W power). Remove from microwave and give it a stir, be careful of the hot steam.
5. Return to microwave and cook on HIGH for another 10 minutes. Remove, don’t stir, and see if the surface of the filling is level or lumpy. If the filling has become lumpy but still soft, it is done. Remove and let cool, be very careful as the filling is extremely hot at this stage! If not, give it a stir and continue to cook but for only 1 minute each time, and check each time until the filling has just start to become firm and clump together.
After cooking for 20 minutes, the filling is still moist.
This should be the consistency of the done pineapple filling, the mixture has formed peaks and not flattened out to a level surface.
6. If you have overcooked the filling and it has set hard after cooling, just add some pineapple juice and put back into the microwave and cook on LOW for 1 minute. Give it a vigorous stir to soften. If it is still too hard, continue to add more juice and cook on LOW setting until the filling is soft but lumpy.
Taste: Sweet tangy and firm pineapple jam
Consume: Best within 2 weeks
Storage: Store in airtight container in the refrigerator
Recipe Reference: Recipe from the article ‘Pining for Pineapple Tarts’, Jan-Mar 2003 issue of Singapore magazine (SG Ezine)