Managed to cajole my reluctant mom into making her pineapple tarts this year. Despite her protests about lack of time and energy, she eventually gave in when I promised to help her.
Step 0 was to procure and prepare the necessary ingredients. Mind you, these wholesome, homemade tarts are made from scratch - no ready-made, preservative-laden pineapple paste was used in the process. I had some wild idea to incorporate cinnamon into the pineapple jam but mom desisted.
Step 1, dice and process pineapples into rough puree. Then add brown sugar and cook in wok till sufficiently but not overly dry and sweet - tarts taste best when tart :)
Next, sift flour to introduce air for ultimate pastry fluffiness, then dump in yolks/butter and mix. For a guy, I'm pretty ginger with the dough mix.
"Why so slow? By the time you finish, it's daylight already lah," Mom chided.
Mom informed me tt during her very first lesson in making pineapple tarts in class, each student was given only a few spoonfuls of flour to make a couple of tarts. I asked her whether her school's still around.
"Why, yes. De Ming is a very good school, you know. That's why I got kicked out when I failed English. Back then, girls weren't encouraged to study anyway. Instead they said tt a girl only needed to find a rich husband."
Operation Playdough completed around 2300hrs.
Day 2: True enough, I couldn't run away from my domestic duties when I wanted to go swimming instead. Was therefore summoned to return for homebody obligations. Maybe I should have fibbed that I had a date arranged...
Mom was already halfway preparing the tart bases and was in a bit of a temper. Ignored me when I asked her to go eat dinner first.
In typical mom fashion, when I asked what she needs me to do, she retorted, "Can't you see what's missing?"
Quick-thinking Ed gets straight down to filling the tarts with the paste, except he didn't know how. Mom practically grunts, except she didn't.
After dinner, mom cum supervisor pops by to inspect. "Why so slow? By the time you finish, it's daylight already lah."
I notice mom topping the tarts with a "V" and after 26years, it only just occurred to me to ask why. "Because it means victory!"
Wow, my mom should join the motivational industry.
Ed-with-itchy-fingers couldn't resist a slight modification to the "V".
"What you doing? So ugly!" Mom exclaimed.
While I added the finishing touches of glazing the exposed pastry with egg white, mom washed up. As she dried her traditional Chinese matrimony tray, she pointed out tt it's 1 year older than I am.
When I ask her whether she regrets not having any daughters, she says yes, because a daughter would keep her company. *scratch head*
Operation Victory Tarts was a success, although we only had 1 tupperware full.
When I asked dad who happened to be in the kitchen to check whether the tarts had cooled and to store them, he promptly popped one into his mouth. Mom and me promptly protested.
Happy Chinese new year, all!
View slideshow here.