Traditional Chinese desserts will always have a place in my heart. I do prefer them over any fancy cakes; maybe it’s because I grew up with them and eating them reminds me of family and home.
I love desserts and I love to bake, but always get stumped when asked what my favourite dessert is. That was until my recent trip to Chinatown while shopping for craft supplies, I took a short break to have tea and a salted tau sar piah, a savoury sweet mung bean pastry (which reminds me, I need to go try the famous Loong Fatt tau sar piah!)… and then it kind of hit me, I love many traditional Chinese desserts. Like the tau sar piah, liu sha bao (salted egg custard bun), the kaya layer cake, and then… the egg tart.
It’s interesting to know that the egg tart has different variations and names all over the world 😉 In Britain it’s called egg custard (tarts). In Australia it’s called the custard tart, and it has a sprinking of nutmeg on top. In France it’s called tarte au flan or flan pâtissier and may sometimes contain fruit. And then there’s the Portuguese egg tart with flaky pastry layers and a rich filling that uses cream instead of milk.
The recipe I tried and adapted today is a Hong Kong based egg tart that uses a cookie type pastry, shared by Annie from Annielicious Food. I think it’s a wonderful and simple recipe for anyone who wants to try making egg tarts. Thanks Annie for the recipe!
Adapted from Annielicious Food Hong Kong Egg tarts
- 1 cup (125g) Plain Flour
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
- 1 Egg Yolk
- ½ Egg White
- 1/3 cup (75g) Salted Butter (I used Golden Churn :))
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (70g) castor sugar
- 1/3 cup (75ml) hot water
- 2 eggs yolks
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup (125ml) Fresh Milk
- ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
- a pinch of fine salt
1. Cream together butter with icing sugar, egg yolk and egg white.
2. Add in flour and mix until the dough just comes together. Don't overwork the dough 🙂
3. Wrap the dough in a clingwrap and refreigerate it for 10 to 15mins.
4. After chilling, depending on your tart pan, divide the dough into 18g each to get about 12 tarts - I'm using the smaller tart pans. In Annie's recipe she divides dough into 6 equal parts, each weighing about 38g each.
5. Roll each dough into a ball. Press it flat into a circle and place it into the tart pans, Lightly press it into the pans and tidy up the edges.
6. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes longer before using.
1. Combine the castor sugar and hot water and mix until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
2. Stir the eggs, milk, vanilla essence and salt together. Pour in sugar water and mix well.
3. Pour the mixture through a sift twice to ensure a smooth custard.
4. Pour the egg mixture into each tart - don't pour it from too high as that creates bubbles. If you're using a measuring cup, just gently tip in the mixture from the side of tart pastry.
5. Bake the tarts on the lowest rack for for 15 minutes at 180°C / 375°F. Leave the oven door slightly open and lower the temperature to 150°C / 300°F, and continue baking for 10 more minutes. This helps prevent the custard from puffing up while baking (if the custard puffs up, upon cooling it'll shrink back down and you'll have a wrinkly custard!). The custard is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the tart remains standing (you can then proceed to claim that tart as yours because it's 'defective' with that silly hole :P)
6. Remove and leave to cool for about 10 mins. Once its cool enough to handle, remove the tarts from the pans and leave to cool, though these are best eaten while warm!