Taiwanese Pineapple Cake (鳳梨酥)
Taiwanese pineapple cakes (鳳梨酥, pronounced Feng Li Su) as we know them today date back to the mid 1970s. At that time pineapples were Taiwan’s main crops, and even though they were also one of the most exported goods at that time there was a huge surplus. The Taiwanese people had to come up with a way to use so many pineapples. Eventually, a pastry was developed that combined pineapple with winter melon for the filling and an outer layer of a crumbly butter shortcake. The result is a bite size confection similar in size and consistency to a Fig Newton. This delicacy is now one of Taiwan’s best selling souvenir items and is especially popular with Japanese, Chinese, and Singaporean tourists.
The name feng li su comes from China and literally translates to pineapple shortcake. There are some legends that claim that the original pineapple cake was created as a wedding gift from one emperor to another after the fall of the Han Dynasty about 1,700 years ago. It was believed that the cake would bring luck and prosperity to all those who consumed it, making it an auspicious gift. It is unknown if this early form of pineapple cake bears much resemblance to the mass produced treat available all over Taiwan today.
A bite size dessert consisting of a shortcake filled with pineapple based jam.
For the filling: pineapple, winter melon (optional), sugar, flour, pectin (optional). For the crust: flour, sugar, eggs, milk, salt,