In Malay, another word for Tat Nanas is Kuih Tat. If we were asked about Kuih Tat, the first thing that comes to mind is Tat Nanas and the filling must be made from pineapple paste and no other fillings.
Here in Malaysia, Tat Nanas or Kuih Tat are referring to the same pastry which is Pineapple Tart.
The pastry is one of the oldest pastries yet still favoured by many.
Tat Nanas are specially made during festive seasons especially during Eid Mubarak and Chinese New Year.
Different Shape of Tat Nanas
Those days, the pineapple tart looks like a sunflower. For this shape, we do not have to brush the egg yolk on top of the pastry. The pineapple paste itself is part of the decoration.
The technique is difficult to make as there are no ideal moulds to make the shape of tart.
In the past, housewives used to make the tart using plastic spikes to make the design. Even though it took a long time to make, they like to use this technique as it utilises their creativity.
Now, the pineapple tart is different. The pineapple paste wrapped in the pastry. To beautify the tart, brush the top of the tart with egg yolk. This trend is easy to make and consumes less time.
Tat Nanas Pastry
Tat Nanas consists of two parts, which are pastry and pineapple paste. The ingredients for the pastry are varied and different from person to person.
For me, the basic ingredients for Tat Nanas consists of egg yolk, butter, wheat flour, corn flour, icing sugar and salt.
I do not use water or milk as the main ingredients. I have learned from past experience, the pastry becomes hardened when water is introduced. Sometimes the texture of the pastry becomes crumbly. Since then, I do not use water to make pastry for Tat Nanas.
In the earlier time of making Kuih Tart, I used margarine and the color appeared to be more yellow than using the butter. Now I prefer to use butter as it suits the taste.
The Pineapple Paste
The pineapple paste used three ingredients which are fresh pineapple, sugar and cinnamon stick.
Before the fruit turns into paste, we need to cut and blend it using food processors to make the pineapple into a fine texture. The function of cinnamon is to enhance the taste and flavor of the pineapple paste while the sugar is used to preserve the pineapple paste.
Pineapple Paste needs to be cooked for at least 2 hours to preserve the freshness of pineapple tart.
If the pineapple paste is cooked within a short time for example 15 minutes the paste is already cooked but the tart will not last longer and mold will appear within three days.
The paste needs to be continuously stirred, if the paste burns the taste will become bitter and not suitable to make the tart.
As I learned the basic for food preservation, I do not introduce water while making pineapple paste. The water will shorten the lifespan of the pineapple paste.
The shelf life of pineapple tart is linked with the quality of the paste. The high quality pineapple paste is cooked for a long time on slow heat, no added water and contains sugar as natural preservative.