Chinese Egg Tarts

Chinese Egg Tarts

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Hong Kong-style egg tarts are widely found in Chinatowns throughout the world. In Singapore and Malaysia, it is one of the main desserts in dim sum restaurants. It has a crumbly pastry and soft custard egg filling that is well loved by many.

Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 25 mins

Dessert, Snack

Tart Telur, Po Tat, Dahn Tat, 蛋撻, 蛋挞, Bánh tart trứng

Chinese, Cantonese



Chinese egg tarts are a spin off from the popular Portuguese pastel de nata and has the influence of the English custard tarts. Combining the best of both worlds, these egg tarts have a crumbly pastry shell and a glossy soft custard filling. It's almost a creamy filling that melts in the mouth along with the buttery pastry. Mostly sold in bakeries and dim sum restaurants, these egg tarts are well loved in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Philippines.

Why is this the best Hong Kong egg tarts recipe?

Making egg tarts from scratch is not as tough as you think. This is my easy to-go recipe whenever I have cravings for egg tarts. It can be replicated without issues and is fool-proof without too many steps. Moreover, the ratio of the ingredients are measured to perfection.

Super easy egg tart
Super easy egg tart

Differences between Chinese and Portuguese egg tarts

Unlike pastel de nata which has caramelized spots on the filling, these Hong Kong-style egg tarts are smooth in appearance. It has a glossy smooth texture, spotless and the texture of the even filling is denser compared to nata.

As for the taste, the Portuguese tarts are sweeter as they use heavy cream which makes the filling milkier. The shell is crustier and not as airy as the Chinese tarts.

Can I use store-bought puff pastry?

The pastry is another reason that makes these egg tarts so special. You can use it if you are in a rush but it will not give the same flavour and texture like that of the Chinese pastry dough. This pastry dough is airy and not as oily as the Western pastry.

The secrets with the pastry dough

In this recipe, I used a mixture of all purpose flour and corn flour for a guaranteed crumbly and light consistency. Besides corn flour, you may substitute it with tapioca flour.

Mixing moisture (egg) with wheat flour will create the sticky and stretchy protein which is known as gluten. Kneading the dough would encourage the creation of gluten. To keep the pastry light, do not over mix the dough after adding the egg or it will turn into a chewy pastry.

Milk in egg tarts

These Chinese egg tarts are made without condensed milk or evaporated milk. With just fresh milk and custard powder, you will be able to recreate the signature creamy taste without an overpowering milk flavour.

How to get spotless and smooth surface?

Some prefer to use condensed milk because adding too much sugar to the egg mixture will not only make it too sweet but also creates the caramelized dark spots. In this recipe, the recommended amount of sugar is just nice and will not be too sweet. It is also a must to ensure that the sugar is fully dissolved before pouring the mixture into the pastry shells.

To guarantee a smooth surface, the egg tarts cannot be baked at high heat. I baked these tarts at 165 degrees Celsius but each oven differs a little. If the heat is too high, the egg custard will not be even as the mixture may expand (then deflates), cracks or burn during the baking process. Should that happens, reduce the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius the next time you bake them.

This brings me to the next point. That is to strain the egg mixture twice to remove any trapped bubbles. The air trapped in the bubbles will expand during the baking process and creates an uneven surface.

Lastly, rotate the tray midway into baking as some ovens may have more heat concentrated in one area. This is to ensure that the tarts are baked evenly.

Egg tart moulds

Moulds specially for making egg tarts are sold in specialty baking stores. These moulds have scallop edges which are synonymous in Chinese egg tarts. The mould which I used is 6.3 cm in diameter while its surface is 5 cm.

Pressing dough to egg tart moulds
Pressing dough to egg tart moulds

If you are unable to find any, bake the tarts in a muffin pan.

Keeping egg tarts fresh

Egg tarts can remain fresh if kept at room temperature for a maximum of two days. However, it is best to place them in a container and keep them refrigerated as they can be kept for up to 5 days if chilled.

How to reheat egg tarts?

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius and heat up room temperature egg tarts for about 5-6 minutes. Avoid using the microwave to prevent the pastry from becoming dry.


Ingredients

Servings:  
1 tbsp
oil
150 g
all-purpose flour
40 g
sugar (powdered)
40 g
corn flour
18 g
custard powder
1⁄2 tsp
salt
100 g
unsalted butter
3
egg(s)
50 g
sugar
1 tsp
vanilla extract
130 g
milk
80 g
water

Steps to Prepare

Chinese Egg Tarts Step 1

Step 1 of 6

    • 1 tbsp oil

Lightly grease the tart moulds with some oil.

Chinese Egg Tarts Step 2

Step 2 of 6

    • 150 g all-purpose flour
    • 40 g sugar (powdered)
    • 40 g corn flour
    • 12 g custard powder
    • 1⁄2 tsp salt
    • 100 g unsalted butter

Combine all-purpose flour, cornflour, icing sugar, custard powder and salt. Mix well. Then, sieve the mixture. Incorporate the cold butter using a rubber spatula into the sieved flour mixture until it turns into crumbles.

Chinese Egg Tarts Step 3

Step 3 of 6

    • 1 egg(s)

Then, add a beaten egg into the flour mixture. Use your hand to combine the ingredients until it becomes a dough. Do not over mix.

Chinese Egg Tarts Step 4

Step 4 of 6

Divide the dough into 30g each and press it onto the tart moulds. Scrape the excess dough using a knife. Once done, chill the dough in the refrigerator.

Chinese Egg Tarts Step 5

Step 5 of 6

    • 2 egg(s)
    • 50 g sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 130 g milk
    • 80 g water
    • 6 g custard powder

Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius. Lightly whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, milk, water and custard powder. Ensure that the sugar and the custard powder are fully dissolved. Pour mixture through a sieve twice to remove bubbles and egg strands.

Chinese Egg Tarts Step 6

Step 6 of 6

Then, pour mixture to fill up 80 percent of the mould. Repeat until all the pastry shells are filled up. Bake them at 165 degrees Celsius for at least 20 minutes or until the custard sets. To test, poke a knife into the custard and if it comes off clean, then it‘s fully set.

Published: July 4, 2020


3 Discussions

a month ago

Joshua Brian

I think you may have left the bat out of this recipe!! So much better that way.

a month ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

You've got to try this recipe. You'll bat a thousand!

a month ago

Ayu Fatarina

Hi Mira Kalau saya gunakan muffin tray, mesti letak paper cups atau terus bakar tanpa paper cups? Terima kasih.

a month ago

Ayu Fatarina

It's ok, i already made it last night and it turns out so beautiful and yummy 😋 ❤️ Thank you for the recipe!

a month ago

Grace

Hey Ayu, did you bake it directly in the muffin tray? Thank you for sharing!

a month ago

Ayu Fatarina

Yup, i greased the muffin tray with some oil first and press the dough :)

25 days ago

Karin Yap

Hey Ayu! Sorry for the late reply! the paper cups are not necessary, terus bakar in the tray or mould :) paper cups are just additional after they're baked lah haha

20 days ago

Ayu Fatarina

Kamsiah Karin, I made it again last weekend, my family loves it so much! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe ❤️❤️❤️

19 days ago

Karin Yap

HAHAHAHA KAMSIAHHHHH FOR TRYING <3 it means a lot :)

22 days ago

Peck Gillian

Hi Grace, 1. can I bake the crust few days in advance and chill it. Then cook the egg portion on the day I want to bake the egg tarts? 2. Will the crust be too hard if bake twice?l

19 days ago

Karin Yap

Hello Gillian! 1. yeahhhh you could do that! 2. If you're worried that it gets too hard, you could bake for about 10 mins just to make sure that shells are just baked. Hope it helps

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