I love chinese egg tarts. It’s one of my favorite things to get from chinese bakeries. The sweet pastry shell compliments the egg custard so well.
They aren’t too hard to make, but it is a little time consuming since you have to shape the individual tart shells. In the past, my egg tarts have tasted fine but are never as pretty as the ones in the bakery.
When you bake egg tarts, the egg custard inflates and collapses after they have cooled. As a result, my egg tarts don’t always look so pretty. The egg custard part always had bubbles or holes. You can see how my past egg tarts post here. Then I saw a recipe posted by Christine’s recipes for a Hong Kong style egg tart. Her egg tarts were picture perfect. I followed her recipe and her tips and this time my egg tarts came out much better. For the molds, I used these pretty Tartlet Tins I got on Amazon. If you grease them before putting in the pastry shell, the custards slide out really easily.
The two things that really made a difference were: 1) run the egg custard mix through a sieve first to get out all the bubbles that appear from mixing (I actually ran it through once and then there were still some bubbles so I scooped a few times with the sieve until I got rid of all the bubbles) and 2) let the egg tarts cook for the last few minutes with the oven slightly open.
These egg tarts are just the way I like them. Egg tarts come with two different pastry shells. One is a hard crust, similar to a fruit tart crust. The other is a flaky crust. I prefer the harder crust, which is harder to find now. This recipe uses the hard crust I like. These came out exactly like the ones I like to buy, so I am pretty happy with the result.
I would definitely use this recipe again, though next time I will reduce the egg custard mixture because I had so much egg custard mixture left after filling my shells (I seem to have this problem with every recipe I’ve tried). Here is the recipe below, with my notes:
Chinese egg tarts (recipe found on Christine’s recipes) with some notes and modifications I made on the directions)
Ingredients of crust:
- 225 gm plain flour
- 125 gm butter
- 55 gm icing sugar
- 1 egg, whisked
- a dash of vanilla extract
Ingredients of custard: (Next time I would reduce this. I used about 1/2 to 2/3 of the mixture)
- 3 eggs
- 110 gm caster sugar
- 225 gm hot water
- 85 gm evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place butter at room temperature until softened. Cut butter into small cubes then cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer over medium speed until the mixture is smooth, fluffy and light in color.
- Add in whisked egg, half at a time, beat over low speed. Add vanilla extract, mix well.
- Add in flour and continue to mix until dough is formed.
- Take a chunk of dough and press dough into individual tartlet mold. Keep pressing and shaping dough until it spreads across entire mold and forms a thin layer. I try to make it slightly thicker around the top edges. Repeat with rest of dough until it is used up.
- Pour water into small pot and heat until it is hot, but not boiling. Add sugar into hot water, mix until completely dissolved.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg with evaporated milk. After the sugar water mixture is cooled, pour sugar water in bowl and mix on low speed with an electric mixer. (I tried hand mixing, but couldn’t thoroughly mix it.) Once it is thoroughly mixed, there will be a lot of bubbles.
- Use a sieve with very small holes, and strain the egg mixture through to get out most of the bubbles. For any remaining bubbles, scoop them out with the sieve until you have a smooth egg mixture.
- Place egg tart molds onto baking sheet. Then spoon in egg mixture, filling each tart.
- Preheat oven to 200C. Position rack in lower third of oven. Bake tarts for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
- Lower the heat to 180C. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the custard is cooked through. For the last few minutes of baking, after the egg custard has puffed up, open the oven door a few inches and let it continue to cook until done.