Pineapple and pepper fans, do we have good news for you, because writer and chef Chloe-Rose Crabtree (who’s incredible sweet treats are on offer at Bake Street and who’s recently cooked at the Pepper Party at Spiritland) has created a recipe that shows both ingredients off. As Chloe-Rose explains, “these are inspired by pineapple tarts that can be found across ESEA during lunar new year. The bite-sized pastry takes on different regional forms: Taiwanese pineapple cakes are pressed into rectangular moulds, Indonesian kue nastar are round and often scored to take on the appearance of pineapples, Malaysian and Singaporean pineapple tarts involve pineapple jam atop pastry that is often adorned with intricately crimped designs. In each, the jam is the star of the show. Cooked down until caramelised, the pineapple is spiced with a combination of black pepper, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. The effect is a bright, spiced flavour tempered by the fatty pastry.”

“Inspired by Dr Anna Sulan Masing’s podcast ‘Taste of Place’ where she delves into the history of pepper in Malaysia and her own connection and nostalgia for the spice, this version makes pepper the star of the show. The jam is made with both black and green pepper to bring out the floral qualities of the pineapple, while the pastry is spiced with white pepper, which lends a light effervescence and lingering tingle on the tongue.”


For the jam:

400g tinned pineapple with juice
50g white sugar
20g maltose or golden syrup
¼  tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp green peppercorns
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 black cardamom (optional)
⅛ tsp salt
7g coconut oil

For the pastry:

125 g softened plant butter (naturli’)
60g icing sugar
150g plain flour
¼ tsp white pepper
⅛ tsp ground cardamom


1. Make the jam. Grind your peppercorns into a semi-fine powder and mix with the ground cinnamon, salt and sugar. Puree the pineapple in a food processor or blender and add to a heavy bottomed saucepan with the pepper mixture, black cardamom and maltose. Cook over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until caramelised and thick, roughly 30-45 minutes. The jam will be finished when it is a deep golden colour and starts to catch at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil until it is melted and your jam is nice and glossy. Press it out onto a plate and leave to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 

2. Make the pastry. Mix the flour and salt together and set aside. Add the plant butter, icing sugar and spices to a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour and salt and mix until the dough just comes together. It will still be slightly tacky to the touch. Wrap in parchment or cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper until it is ½ cm thick. Cut the pastry into desired shapes and place onto parchment paper on a baking tray. 

4. Using lightly greased hands or two spoons, shape the pineapple jam into small mounds and place atop the pastry. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the pastry just starts to brown. 

5. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container between pieces of parchment, they will stay fresh for at least one week. Best enjoyed with a cup of strong tea or coffee and they make great gifts!