Pineapple Jam (Pineapple Paste)

Pineapple Jam (Pineapple Paste)
Makes enough pineapple paste or filling for 60 to 75 tarts, depending on the size of pineapples used, and portion of each individual filling.
  • 6 pineapples, slightly ripened
  • 8 oz rock sugar (use less or more, according to taste)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise segments
  • ⅛ tsp salt, or to taste
  1. Wash, and cut off the top and bottom of each pineapple. Trim off the skin all around. Eye spots will all line up in diagonal rows on the pineapple. Cut V-shaped grooves along the diagonal line to remove each set of eye spots. Then cut each pineapple into half, lengthwise.
  2. Prepare a clean, large bowl to collect the grated pineapple flesh and juice mixture. Place the grater in the bowl, and grate each pineapple half, until you reach the core. Discard the core. (Note: Do wear handgloves as the acidity of the juices can 'bite' into your hands).
  3. Strain the grated mixture into a large pot. leaving enough juices mixed in with the grated flesh for cooking.
  4. Transfer the strained mixture into a large wok, and heat up over a medium heat. When the mixture comes to a gentle boil, add the spices. Do NOT keep stirring the mixture, do it only occasionally. When stirring, use a wok chan or spatula, stir around the edges, always scooping the mixture from the bottom to the top all around.
  5. As the juices reduce, stir the mixture more often, to prevent browning or burning at the bottom of the wok. When more than half the liquid has evaporated, add the rock sugar (in portions), continue to boil until dissolved. Taste, and add more, to your taste, depending on how sweet or sour the pineapples are.
  6. As the mixture gets drier and more paste or jam-like, reduce heat to low, and stir frequently to prevent burning. Lastly, add salt, again to taste.
  7. When done, the mixture should be paste-like, appear glossy and golden brown in colour. The paste is fairly dry, but not dry to the touch. Let the paste cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight (the mixture will thicken slightly when cooled). Take 1-teaspoon portions (slightly heaped), and shape into balls, or desired shape.