Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple tarts or often called nastar in Indonesian and Malaysian languages, are small bite-size pastries either crowned or packed with pineapple jam, originated in South East Asia. They are normally considered as “festive cookies”, as they are customarily eaten during the celebratory seasons like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. But pineapple tarts are available all year round commercially. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free.

Typically, there are three types of moulds, one is an open and flat tart crowned with pineapple jam with layer of pastry below, jam-packed spheres and rolls filled with jam and open at both ends of the pastries. For my gluten free version of this tart, I am making open tarts topped with pineapple jam. My gluten free pineapple tart pastries are made with gluten free all-purpose baking flour combined with gluten free corn/maize flour, all vegan non-dairy buttery spread and eggs. Resulting in a lavish, buttery, delicate and melt-in-your-mouth consistency. The pineapple jam is normally prepared by gradually decreasing ground pineapple flesh combined with sugar and spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise. My pineapple tarts are not only tasty and delicious, they resemble sunflowers as well.

Pineapple Tarts

Pineapples originated from South America, where the therapeutic properties of pineapples were identified and utilised by native South Americans. They used the juice to assist in absorption of food and for cleansing the skin. In traditional Chinese medicine, the fruit is considered to have a “neutralising” quality with a sweet and sour taste. Used to maintain coolness of the body during the summer heat. Also for healing illnesses like worms, diarrhoea, indigestion and sunburn.

Pineapple is a sweet, juicy and aromatic fruit bursting with defensive phytonutrients and an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, as well as the protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain. Other essential vitamins and minerals in pineapples are vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate/folic acid, vitamin B5 (panthothenic acid), magnesium, manganese, and antioxidants and beta-carotene. Consumption of pineapples may reduce the risk of cancer, blood clots, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and may support healthy skin and hair, weight loss and boosted energy.

Gluten Free Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple Tarts

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Cuisine: Asian Desserts, Chinese
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 80 pineapple tarts
Calories: 87.61kcal
Author: Daphne Goh


For the Pineapple Jam

For the Pastry

  • 500 g 17.6oz gluten free all-purpose plain flour (Orgran)
  • 50 g 1.8oz gluten free corn (maize) flour (White Wings)
  • 300 g 10.6oz all vegan non-dairy buttery spread (Nuttelex Buttery) or any vegan butter
  • 50 g 1.8oz gluten free icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free xantham gum
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Gluten free flour for dusting work surface

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 egg beaten for glazing the pastry

Special Tools

  • 4 cm round crinkle edged cookie cutter you can use other shapes like flora, star or hearts
  • Mini star cookie cutter


For cooking the pineapple jam:

  • Peel and remove cores of pineapples and roughly cut into small 3cm to 4cm pieces. Blend the pineapple pieces in a food processor until you get a coarse puree.
  • Place the pineapple puree and spices into a wok, bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes to reduce the pineapple juice.
  • Add in the caster sugar, stir and combine well, bring to a boil again. Then simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until the pineapple jam has become a darker golden colour and has just thickened enough to roll into small balls. (Do not make the jam too dry as the baking process will dry up the jam further). Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Once the pineapple jam has cooled down, using wet hands and a small teaspoon, roll the jam into small balls.

For the pastry:

  • Sift the gluten free all-purpose flour and gluten free corn (maize) flour into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Then sprinkle in the xanthan gum and add Nuttelex Buttery or vegan butter into the mixture and rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
  • Add the icing sugar, eggs and 3 tablespoons water, gently knead to a soft dough (do not over knead). Divide the dough into 2 portions, wrap each portion in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Remove one portion of the dough after chilling for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Dust work surface and rolling pin with gluten free flour. Roll the dough to 0.7cm thickness. Then cut the tart bases into 4cm with a round crinkle edged cookie cutter. Repeat with the second portion of the dough.
  • Roll the pastry leftover into 0.3cm thickness and cut out the stars with the mini star cookie cutter. Set aside.

For assembling and baking the tarts:

  • Using your thumb, carefully make a cavity into the centre of each tart base. Then brush all the tart bases including the edges with egg wash.
  • Place a ball of pineapple jam onto the cavity of the tart base, tap to flatten the pineapple jam slightly.
  • Preheat fan-forced oven to 160C or 320F.
  • Place the tarts 1cm apart onto the baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake the tarts in the oven for 15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Store the tarts in airtight containers.


Other all vegan non-dairy buttery spread available in the United States is Earth Balance.
Allergen: Eggs.
Nutrition Facts
Pineapple Tarts
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

Disclosure Statement: I am NOT paid by Nuttlelex, Orgran or White Wings for this post!

6 thoughts on “Pineapple Tarts”

  1. its also my husbands birthday. And Chicago does a new year celebration but we never seem to make it. hopefully some year. Ill come back and let you know how we liked the cookies. thank you for the gluten free recipes.

  2. My family does a very similar recipe. Except we make rounds folded over into half moons and stuffed like potstickers. Instead of cinnamon and clove we use nutmeg. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I usually make mine only at Christmas and didn’t get to this year.

    • Your version of pineapple tarts sounds very interesting with different spice used. These pineapple tarts are normally consumed during the festive season of Chinese New Year celebration. And this year, the first day of CNY (Year of the Rats) starts on 25 Jan to 8 Feb 2020. You can make these pineapple tarts for this upcoming special occasion. Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂


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