Taiwanese Pineapple Cake Made In New York
by Joli Minis Bite-size Pastries
Taiwanese pineapple cakes （鳳梨酥）hold the secret to prosperity, and it’s right in the name. In the Hokkien dialect of Taiwanese, the word for pineapple, ong lai, is pronounced the same as the phrase “prosperity has arrived.” Because of this, the pineapple is a symbol of luxury and hospitality, and a popular feng shui symbol of wealth, fortune, and prosperity in Taiwan. Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes are one of Taiwan's best food souvenirs.
A traditional Taiwanese pineapple cake is nothing like the sticky, sweet, over-indulgence that is the American upside-down pineapple cake. It’s a rustic pastry, consisting of flour, butter, egg, sugar, and of course, the ultimate reward of caramelized pineapple jam inside. It has a buttery, shortbread-like casing with a pineapple filling similar to a very thick jam. It’s more like a tart than cake—similar to a Fig Newton but far superior. New homeowners sometimes roll a pineapple into their home to inspire good fortune and luxury. It is also often served and gifted around Lunar New Year. Traditionally, the pineapple cakes were presented as wedding gifts, but now they are usually served slightly warm with a cup of hot tea to visiting guests.
Pineapple cake is our head chef Polly’s favorite dessert since a kid. Pineapple cake reminds her of the joyful time with family in Taiwan on holidays and the comforting hug from grandma. As a self-taught chef, she recreated the pineapple cake from memory with her innovative flavors. Pineapple cake is made with simple ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, so we only source the premium quality ingredients to bring out the maximum flavor for each bite.
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