My friend just introduced me to my new favorite Asian pastry: Taiwanese Pineapple Cake. When he gave me the package of cake, he told me that it was very traditional and that they were from a popular bakery in Taiwan. I took my first bite and loved it. I can best describe these as jam filled shortbread since the inside is full of sweetened pineapple and the crust is buttery goodness.
Because I enjoyed these so much, I had to know if I could find them in our area. My friend said that any Asian grocery would sell them, but they wouldn’t be the same quality as the ones from Taiwan so he suggested that I try baking them.
I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so I set out to find a recipe for these treats. I found one at The 350 Degree Oven based on the Nei Hu Bakery, another popular bakery in Taiwan, and had to try it.
Even if my pastries didn’t turn out nearly as pretty since I didn’t use a rectangle shaped mold, they tasted fantastic. They had a very similar butter crust and a pineapple filled jam-like center. My friend really enjoyed my version and even went as far to say that they would sell better than the packaged ones in the store. If that’s not a wonderful endorsement, I don’t know what is!
Taiwanese Pineapple Pastry
From The 350 Degree Oven
Makes: about 20 pastries, Difficulty: Intermediate
- 2-20 ounce cans sliced pineapple
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch + 1/2 teaspoon water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup shortening, butter flavor
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Make the filling: Drain the juice from the pineapple. Put the drained pineapple into a food processor and pulse until the texture is like apple sauce. Put the pineapple into a large skillet or shallow sauce pan, add the sugar, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Cook on medium to medium-high heat for 20 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Combine the cornstarch and water, and add to the pineapple mixture. Cook another 5 minutes until very thick and resembles a thick paste. Allow the filling to cool completely.
Make the dough: Cream the butter, shortening, and powdered sugar with a hand-held mixer on low until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add the cake flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined. Mix in the cream until the dough is soft and uniform. The dough will be sticky.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a liberally cake floured flat surface, roll the dough into a log and divide into 20 pieces. Portion out the cooled filling into 20 balls. Flatten each dough piece to about 1/8-inch with either your palm or rolling pin. Place a portion of filling into the center of the dough circle and fold the edges up to cover the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal. Flatten and shape the filled ball into a square or rectangle. Bake the cakes for 10 minutes. Flip the cakes over and continue to bake for an additional 12 minutes.
Cool completely on wire racks and serve at room temperature.
- Note: The filling can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.