Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ending festivities on a sweet note

This is what Malaysians would call being 'gatal' meaning having 'itchy' fingers or fingers that can't keep still. Not only did I make two types of rendang for Hari Raya, but also some Pineapple Jam Biscuits, which started off as tarts and mutated into biscuits.


There's no real story to this other than me just wanting to eat Pineapple Jam Tarts - just like the rendang - and since I have pretty high standards for tarts I decided to make them myself... on Hari Raya evening... while watching NCIS Season 6. I do so adore Mark Harmon and have done for a long time, so watching back-to-back repeat episodes - while rolling biscuits - was a blissful way to spend a quiet evening at home. (That and the earlier remark should give you an inkling of just how much time I spend in front of the TV in a week - almost zero!)

The idea for these biscuits came from here. I didn't however follow the recipe for the pastry because I couldn't bring myself to use that much of Condensed Milk. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE Condensed Milk, but only in my hot drinks and to make into a faux dulce de leche for Banoffee Pie. (Though I'm quite sure I'm going to break this rule soon when I attempt making the Kueh Lapis Batavia/Spekkoek, but let's not talk about that now.)

Let's talk about these lovely biscuits. They were lovely. Buttery, crumbly, short kind of lovely. I'm so happy they didn't end up in the dustbin, where some of my more uncontrolled baking experiments go.


That said, the endless rolling of jam and dough made me restrict myself to baking only one tray that night, with the remainder left for the next day. I KNOW you can make these smaller and more delicate-looking. That was the initial aim. However, mine turned-out roughly the size of ping-pong balls and ultimately looked similar to Penang's famous tau sar pneah. Maybe I should call these pineapple pneah?

PINEAPPLE JAM BISCUITS

450g Plain Flour
230g Salted Butter, cold and cubed
3 or 4 tablespoons Icing Sugar, sifted
A pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 Egg Yolk
2 tablespoons Condensed Milk
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

500g Pineapple Jam

1 Egg
Vanilla Essence
Some Black Sesame Seeds

In a large bowl, mix the Plain Flour and Salted Butter with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the Salt and Icing Sugar. Using your fingers, gently mix both through the Flour/Butter mixture. Make a well in the centre of the Flour/Butter/Salt/Icing Sugar mix and put the Vanilla Essence, Egg Yolk, Condensed Milk and Oil in. Using your hands, bring everything together to form a ball of dough that cleanly leaves the sides of the bowl. Set aside. 

Roll Pineapple Jam into little balls and place them on a plate. 

To assemble the biscuits, take a pinch of dough, roll it into a ball and then flatten it out with the heel of your palm. Place a ball of jam in the centre and carefully close the dough around it. Lightly pinch any holes close and roll the dough/jam ball until the dough looks nice and smooth. Place it on a very lightly greased baking tray. 

Repeat until all the dough and jam is used up. 

Crack the Egg in a bowl and add in a drop of Vanilla Essence. Mix until well-combined. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash and sprinkle some Black Sesame Seeds on them.

Bake the biscuits in a 150 Celsius oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the egg wash looks a light golden in colour. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray. Once cool, store the biscuits in an airtight jar. 

Notes

  • You may have a little dough or Pineapple Jam left over. Put it in a container and store in the fridge. Use up the dough within 5 days. The Pineapple Jam can be left longer if it is a sweet jam. If it is sour, then use within 2 weeks.