There’s many recipes I’ve talked about on Baking with Granny which I never realised were regional to Scotland. And it wasn’t until I started researching Pineapple Tarts that I found they are a somewhat exclusively Scottish treat.
I can always remember being drawn to Pineapple Tarts, staring at them through the glass cabinet at our local bakery. I’m a big fan of yellow you see; from my yellow bedsheets, too my favourite yellow iPhone. To me it didn’t matter what was actually under that perfect veil of yellow icing.
But when my better half said in passing one day that he missed indulging in a Pineapple Tart, it became my goal to make a recipe for the perfect vegan Pineapple Tarts. However this goal soon sidetracked when during my research I found next-to-no existing Pineapple Tarts recipes, other than ones for a very different kind of bake, originating from Indonesia.
With that in mind, my mission somewhat changed, wanting to share a proper Scottish Pineapple Tart recipe, bringing these little sunshine pastries not only to those who have memories of admiring them as a child like me…but for those who have never been lucky enough to enjoy them.
Oh, and there is still my vegan hacks below!
My first stop in research was of course Granny. She told me about her days in the bakery, with trays of already baked pastry casings and having 3 piping bags ready to go; one filled with pineapple jam, one filled with synthetic cream and one with that gorgeous yellow icing. She’d whizz through them all, dolloping a helping of jam on each pastry casing first. Going back to the start and topping the jam with the cream. Before the final round of finishing them all with a squeezing of icing.
This recipe however does have some differences in the ingredients, mostly due to their availability.
These little Scottish Pineapple Tarts simply wouldn’t work without their shortcrust pastry casing. Butter will give you the richest tasting pastry but margarine is also an option, should you prefer.
Not necessarily essential in a shortcrust pastry but when you’re making a pastry for a sweet tart, it makes sense to start with a sweetened pastry, right?
Plain flour for a shortcrust pastry because we don’t want it rising and taking away any of the precious room for fillings.
Tinned Pineapple and Sugar
You can of course buy pre-made pineapple jam but I’ve found it isn’t as easy to pick up anywhere, like alternative jams. So I’ve included instructions for a easy, two-ingredient, pineapple jam in this Pineapple Tarts recipe.
When Granny made Pineapple Tarts in the bakery they used what was known as synthetic cream (sometimes known as mock cream). This isn’t something you can pick up in the supermarkets, although some online retailers do stock it, and there is some recipes online should you want to keep it authentic.
However, whipping up some double cream with a little icing sugar is a fantastic, tasty and more natural substitute. The only thing you need to watch for when using fresh cream is storing the pineapple tarts in the fridge and not keeping them longer than a couple of days – although I guarantee you’ll have them all eaten before then! But should you wish to keep them a little longer, simply swap the fresh cream for a buttercream.
Icing Sugar, Water and Food Colouring
For that beautiful yellow finish that holds all the delicious filling inside the pastry casing! I use a gel food colouring because they give the best colour results and don’t have a big impact on the consistency of your icing.
Granny’s Top Tips
• The foil pastry cases are by no means essential. We just used them here for photo purposes and in fact they’re more environmentally friendly without them.
• If you don’t have baking beans already, this is one recipe that is worth investing in them for. And when it comes to baking the pastry with the baking beans, a good hack is the place a cupcake case into the pastry and fill them with the beans. Not lining the pastry before adding the beans will be a trypophobics nightmare, not to mention a pain to get them back out of the pastry.
• When piping on your cream, it’s super important to leave a small gap between the pastry and cream (enough that you can still see some jam). This allows some space for excess icing to pool as it covers the cream. Otherwise it’ll be running all off your pastry and onto the surrounding surfaces.
• You can also use a Ready-roll Shortcrust pastry, should you prefer or are in a hurry.
For the Jam
- 435 g Pineapple Slices in Juice (one tin)
- 250 g Caster Sugar
For the Cream Filling
- 300 ml Double Cream
- 3 tbsp Icing Sugar
For the Yellow Icing
- 300 g Icing Sugar
- 3-4 tbsp Water
- Yellow Food Colouring
For the Pastry
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and mix to create a soft dough, using your hands to bring it together when necessary. Gently knead the dough on a clean surface to ensure it is completely combined, before wrapping the dough in cling film and placing in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a little.This is a good time to prepare the Pineapple Jam (instructions below).
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180°c (160°c for fan assisted ovens or Gas Mark 4). After 30 minutes, remove your dough from the fridge. Grease a 12-hole cup bun tray with a little butter/margarine and set aside.
- Roll your dough to about 5mm thick and using a round cutter which is a little bigger than the cups on your bun tray, cut 12 circles. Carefully transfer each circle to your pre-greased tray, gently ensuring no air is caught underneath each and pressing the bottom and edges into place.
- Prick a few holes into the bottom of each pastry cup, before lining them (I used a paper cupcake case for lining) and filling with some baking beans. Bake for about 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry cases are golden in colour. Allow to cool a little before adding the fillings.
For the Jam
- Drain the juice from your tinned pineapple into a pan. Add the sugar to the pan. Roughly chop the pineapple slices before also adding to the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 20-30 minutes, watching closely and stirring often. After which time it will still be slightly syrupy but the pineapple will have darkened in colour.
- Transfer the jam to a sterilised jar (or allow to cool for a while before transferring to a saleable plastic container).* Please note this considered a "easy jam" recipe and won't set quite the same as shop-bought jam. And unless stored in a sterilised jar, should only be kept for a few days.
- Allow to cool completely before using in Pineapple Tarts. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of jam into each pastry casing.
For the Cream Filling
- In a large bowl, whisk the cream and icing sugar. If using an electric whisk, stop just before you think you have whisked enough – it's very easy to over-whisk cream with an electric whisk.
- Transfer the cream to a piping bag with a large circular opening (or simply cut a few centimetres up a disposable piping bag) and pipe about a ping-pong ball amount of cream onto the top of each jam-filled pastry casing. Alternatively simply spoon on the cream. Place into the fridge whilst you prepare the icing.* It is very important to leave a little gap between the cream and pastry (enough to be able to see the jam underneath). This allow the icing to pool and not over-flow the edges.
For the Yellow Icing
- In a bowl, mix the icing sugar with the water, adding a little at a time. You want a just pour-able consistency. Add the yellow food colouring to create your desired stage. Gel food colouring is preferable but just watch the consistency of your icing if you are using a different kind of food colouring.
- Starting with just a teaspoon, pour a little icing on top of the cream. After it has started to run down the cream, you can see where more is required and simply pour a little more into these places.
- Allow the icing to set before serving.
Free-form & Vegan
Gluten-free: Simply use a Ready-roll Gluten-free Shortcrust pastry for your pastry casing.
Vegan: Use a dairy-free margarine in your pastry and a coconut cream for the cream filling. Simply refrigerate two tins of coconut milk overnight, carefully removing before use. The milk will have separated in the fridge; spoon the coconut cream from the top, leaving the water at the bottom of the tin. Whisk the cream with the sugar as per the recipe. You may need to refrigerate the cream between steps as it will become softer with handling.
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