Egg Tarts

Believe it or not, this is my first successful chinese egg tart attempt! I would say it’s been eight years since I made my very first egg tart, with less than exciting results; burnt blistered top, overly sweet yada yada which I could sneakily disguise as Portugese egg tarts (brulee style) except that it’s not the correct pastry <hehe> But thanks to Wendy of Table For 2 or More,  any qualms I have regarding the difficulty level of this treat can now be put to rest. It was pretty straightforward. I have polished many egg tarts in my lifetime; from bakeries to restaurants to dim sum parlours in Hong Kong, on the street etc. Which chinese egg tart do you prefer? The short crust pastry version (pictured above) or dim sum style with the intricate layers of flaky puff pastry? I love both but for the flaky version, it has to be done really really well; it must be petite and not cloyingly greasy as lard is used instead of butter.

Gimme gimme gimme!!

Wendy’s recipe produces a really light and delicate texture for both egg custard and buttery crumbly pastry. The pastry does require a little bit of work and finesse as it is so short that it just wants to crumble but the mouth-feel is excellent! I’ve made very minor variations to the recipe; a little salt here, vanilla essence here, icing sugar etc. and have added some notes on how to dislodge the very fragile tarts from the tins. It is so fragile that Wendy recommended eating this with a spoon! I actually couldn’t wait to bake them so I’ve fast-tracked the process by freezing the pastry cases hard for 30 minutes instead of the 2 hour to overnight chilling in the refrigerator <grin….I couldn’t wait>. Any notes or additions on my part are highlighted in blue.

Egg Tarts

Egg Tart recipe sourced from Wendy of Table for 2 or More

Pastry
250g plain flour
2 tbsp castor sugar (I used Icing Sugar)
1 egg yolk
150g cold unsalted butter, cubed (I left this to soften before creaming)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Filling
150g castor sugar
150ml hot water
250ml milk(1 small pack of milk)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs
1 egg white (From the same egg where the yolk was used in the crust)
Method
  1. Cream the butter with the egg yolk and sugar.
  2. Add in flour. Mix well. (If the dough is sticky for you , well maybe your yolks are larger than mine, add in extra flour by the teaspoon until it no longer feels sticky, but got a slight flour feel to it, but not too much though, as it will toughen the crust. the borderline of stickiness and dry feel is very thin.. so, add extra flour with caution)
  3. Roll out pastry in between two sheets of plastic (I used silicon baking paper) into thickness of about 4mm. Stamp out 9–10cm circles of pastry with a pastry cutter.
  4. Lightly press the pastry circles into foil tart cases. (I used aluminium tart tins.) Make sure no holes or pastry breakage is visible as the custard might leak and make dislodging difficult.
    Refrigerate the lined foil cases/tart tins for 2 hours/ overnight. (I wanted to fast track this so I froze them till solid for 30 minutes)  
  5. Melt the sugar in hot water, add milk, salt, vanilla essence. Beat all the eggs lightly and mix in all together. (I chilled this for 30 minutes before using
  6. Sieve egg mixture and pour into the cold tart crust.
  7. Bake at 180oC for 25 minutes. (I placed all my tarts on a baking tray and it took 23 minutes to cook as I have a very hot oven. The tarts are ready when the center is still slightly wobbly. Do not overbake! The custard will continue to set when it cools)
  8. Let cool for at least 40 minutes to an hour (It’s cold now in Melbourne so mine cooled really fast). To dislodge the tarts, quickly and carefully overturn the tart flush onto a flat plate. Jiggle the tart tins lightly or with the tip of a knife, just encourage the pastry out of the tin. Carefully overturn tarts onto paper cases. If the tart refuses to come out, then best to eat it out of the tin with a spoon since the custard has leaked and stuck the pastry to the tin. 

 

  

 

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8 comments to Egg Tarts

  • Wow, your tarts look really good and I’m glad you liked it.
    I used to use cold butter too, but not anymore, I just leave it at room temp and just cream it until it just comes together.
    I chill it overnight because I split up the prep job cos I usually do 2-3 blocks of butter at one go, which is a heck lot, hahaha. But a cold crust will reduce the puffing and any method will do, quick freezing or chilling it longer.

  • Mei Sze

    Hi Wendy,

    That’s a really good recipe you’ve got there. Thank you!! :) I am usually very patient with my pastry but this time round I was overcome by an intense urge to eat one so I froze the pastry. (hehe)Mmmm..can’t wait to eat one later for dessert.

  • Pat

    Hi Mei Sze

    These look great! I was wondering if you could tell me the brand of your tart tins or where you bought them?

  • Mei Sze

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you. Are you in Melbourne? The tart tins I used for the egg tarts in this post were bought from KL, Malaysia whereas I have another set of fluted tart tins used for the Pate Brisee (link below)http://www.foodsze.com/2010/06/sweet-shortcrust-pastry-pate-brisee-from-bourke-street-bakery.html
    The latter were purchased from Cake Deco at Port Philip Arcade Flinders Street at $1.80 per tin. You could always source them online at a lower cost. :)
    Examples are found here:-
    http://shop.ebay.com.au/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=tart+tin&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    Hope that helps.. :)

  • ann

    I tried the recipe and absolutely loved the texture of the tart.I whacked 2 within minutes! However,mine has ‘pimples’ :( and didn´t look quite as pretty as yours! I made them in a muffin tray! Thanks for the link! Think i´ll be tart tin shopping soon! :) The shallow tart tin seemed to be more popular here in Germany. I´ve yet to come across the deeper ones. Spot the pimples on mine! :( http://malaysianingermany.blogspot.com/2011/04/custard-egg-tart.html

  • Mei Sze

    Hi Ann yen :)
    Yours look great too! What pimples? Those bumps look miniscule so nothing to worry about but in any case, you could try undercooking it for maybe a minute and see if you get a smoother outcome. It could be that your oven is hotter? therefore cooking the custard faster which, if left to overcook could cause bumps and burns on the eggtarts.

  • these look so good! i also bookmarked wendy’s recipe! your photos convince me to try 😉

  • Mei Sze

    Hi Shu Han,
    Thank you :) You might find that the pastry is a bit fiddly to work with and has a tendency to break. Don’t worry. Just be as delicate as you can and it will come together. Enjoy :)