Hong Kong Egg Tarts (港式蛋挞)

Monday, 15 October 2012

The best tool for flattening pastry dough isn't a rolling pin but a plate. Just place a round blob of dough between two plastic sheets, then press it evenly with a flat-bottomed plate. Peel off the top sheet of plastic, then flip the dough into a tart mould.
Ease the dough into the mould, from the centre to the edges so that there're no air pockets. Trim the excess around the rim, and you're done. That's all there is to it. With this method, even a novice can quickly make pastry shells that are nicely thin and even. It is, for me, much faster and easier than how professional bakers do it. They just press a lump of dough into the mould without flattening it first.
Sieving the custard is necessary only when you plan to use it within a couple of hours. If you have time to let it rest half a day or longer, you can skip this step. Refrigerated, the egg and milk mixture may be stored for maybe one week.

A vanilla pod is good for flavouring the filling. Failing that, a high quality vanilla extract makes a reasonable stand-in. If vanilla is too vanilla for you, how about dark rum, brandy, kahlua or Bailey's? Hey, nutmeg is nice if you like nutmeg. Ginger juice would be appropriate if you're feeling windy.
On no account prick the tart shells to stop them from puffing up in the oven. If you do, they'll leak. Instead, prebake the pastry at a low temperature of 150°C and, if there isn't any air trapped underneath the dough, it should stay nicely flat even without pie weights. If you like, the tart shells may be chilled or frozen either before or after prebaking.
I like my egg tarts shiny, not matte. The shine comes from the slightly undercooked custard on top, which is done by giving the tarts less heat from the top than the bottom. And the heat has to be quite gentle, overall, so that the eggs and milk cook into a soft and silky smooth custard.

If photos and words are too abstract for you and you don't get the picture, here's my video to help you connect the dots:



HONG KONG EGG TARTS (港式蛋挞)
Source: adapted from Aunty Yochana
(Recipe for 20 tarts)
Custard Filling
240 g eggs
160 g sugar  
480 ml milk
1¼ tsp vanilla extract
Tart Shells
125 g salted butter, softened
60 g icing sugar, sifted
15 g egg white
15 g egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
210 g plain flour

To make tart filling, whisk sugar with eggs till melted. Add milk and vanilla extract. Whisk till evenly mixed. Sieve to remove big bubbles, into something that can pour without dripping. Set aside till small bubbles subside, about 1¼ hours.

To make tart dough, mix butter and icing sugar till smooth. Add egg white, yolk and vanilla extract. Mix till well combined. If dough is sticky, sprinkle with flour 1 tsp at a time and mix through. If dough is dry and crumbly, sprinkle with water instead 1 tsp at a time. Place dough in freezer till just firm, spread out to cool down faster. This should take 10 minutes or so. When lining tart moulds, remove dough from freezer ¼ portion at a time.

To line tart moulds, smooth 2 plastic sheets so that there are no folds. Roll 30 g dough into a ball. Place ball between plastic sheets. Press evenly with flat-bottomed plate to form a circle 2 mm thick and 10 cm wide, checking thickness and evenness by
touching dough with palm. Remove top plastic sheet. Place 8 x 2.5 cm tart mould on dough, rim side down. Flip mould, along with dough and remaining plastic sheet, to face upward. Press dough into mould, from centre to rim. Remove plastic sheet. Trim excess dough around edges. Run fingers round tart mould, gently pressing to even out thickness and remove air pockets if necessary. Trim again if there's excess dough.

To bake tart shells, preheat oven to 150°C. Place shells on baking tray. Bake 15 minutes in middle of oven. Increase temperature to 180°C. Continue baking till slightly brown, another 5 minutes or so. Remove from oven. Leave on wire rack to cool down completely.

To bake tarts, preheat oven to 165°C. If you want to line your baking tray with foil, it should be shiny side down. Pour custard into shells, to 2 mm from rim. Bake 15 minutes in bottom of oven. Reduce temperature to 150°C. Move tray to middle of oven. Top up filling to make up for evaporation. Bake till custard is just slightly wobbly in the middle when shaken, another 15 minutes or so. If custard puffs up during last few minutes but is still too watery in the middle, remove tarts from oven to cool down till custard subsides, then continue baking. Watch custard closely towards the end to make sure it doesn't overcook.

Serve hot, or at least warm. Leftovers should be refrigerated. Tarts may be reheated at 120°C using bottom heat only for 10 minutes or so. Pastry isn't soggy at all if reheated without moulds.

61 comments:

Dannica Lau said...

Hiya. Love ur vids :) May i noe wut type of milk is used?

KT said...

Full-fat fresh milk from cows in Australia. Mooooo . . . !

Mrs O said...

KT so funny! moooo...! I am baking the tart shell, but using alum tart mould (which I bought almost 20 years ago... , 20 years ago, I went for baking lessons, the bakery owner cum instructor just pushed her product to me, so silly of me then, so ignorant, but ok la, I have physical alum tart mould, for 14 moulds, less than 50 ringgit, bettter than those got cheated just by a piece of paper on gold matter, that comes 10 thousand and above...

Yvonne said...

Where did you get your tart molds?

KT said...

Phoon Huat.

Mrs O said...

Hello, KT, your tart shell recipe is fantastic! Just wonder when would you posting cheese tart as well?

Liling said...

Hi KT, wondering why some tarts stick on the mould can't be remove. Pls help.. Thk u!!

KT said...

Cheese tart as in cream cheese in the tart shell?

KT said...

Tart shells should be loosened from the moulds after prebaking but they'll stick after they're fully baked if they leak.

Tart shells won't leak if you don't tear the dough when you're lining the moulds. If there're tears, I suggest you redo. If you don't, you can patch up the holes but chances are there'll be cracks after prebaking. You can mend the cracks with thin bits of raw dough (make sure you set some aside). This should be done when the tart shells are very hot, but not immediately after
they're removed from the oven or you'll just create more holes.

Esef Ong said...

Thanks KT for recipe and tips... My family loves egg tarts - Portuguese style pastéis de Belém / de Nata and HK version. Will try to make some :-D. Thanks for the vid too

Mrs O said...

hello, KT, your egg tarts shells even on its own is nice. I want to make it into cream cheese tart with some blue berries deco.

KT said...

Er . . . just beat the cream cheese till fluffy and sweeten to taste depending on what fruits you're using? Greek yogurt might work too, and you don't have to beat it, I think.

steph said...

Hi! can i ask how many eggs equal to 240g and how many eggs make 15g of egg yolk and egg white?
Thanks!

steph said...

Also how can i replace icing sugar with normal white castor sugar? thanks!

KT said...

For eggs, 1 g = 1 ml.

KT said...

Grind the sugar in a food processor.

DL said...

Are plain flour and all purpose flour the same?

KT said...

Yes.

Mrs O said...

Thank you,KT. You are so resourceful. not only has flair in writing, also cooks and bakes well, pandainya. Singaporeans are well-educated, smart and intelligent (we Malaysians always admire), but KT also has a warm heart.

Elaine knak said...

Thank you KT.I have try out your recipeit is really nice n delicious thank you very much. My husband n kid love it very much next I will try out the kueh salat I love this too.

KT said...

Thanks for your feedback, Elaine.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've tried out a few of your recipe, it doesn't turn out good but it's FANTASTIC !!!! I'm glad I found you. This is the most happy thing happen to me in 2013!!!
Hooray. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I'm really wondering ... ???? U seems very knowledgeable . It's a bonus to us all here. Thanks again.

Ruth Teo said...

The custard is still very watery after I bake it for the 2nd time. What can I do?

KT said...

What can you do to what? Your watery tarts? Your future egg tarts? Your ability to follow instructions? Your ability to think logically?

Ruth Teo said...

You sound really rude.

Hungrybabydino Chen said...

Hello KT, these tarts look absolutely amazing. I'm keen to try my hand at them, but I only have a microwave-oven-grill unit, which means I don't actually have separate levels. May I know how to adapt the recipe for such a regular convection oven?

KT said...

Set the top heat at 150C and bottom at 165C for the first 15 minutes, then both at 150C till the custard is almost set. If your oven doesn't have separate controls for the top and bottom, use 165C and then 150C but the custard will look matte, not shiny.

Hungrybabydino Chen said...

Wow you are wonderful! Mine indeed doesn't have separate controls, but I'm very impressed that you are so detailed even when I did not specify. Will be attempting these tarts in a matter of days, as well as your Tau Suan and Kueh Bangkit. Getting into a festive CNY mood! Shall report back my results. Thank you for the fast reply (:

star101 said...

Hey i was just wondering if you can convert the mesurments into cups, tsp,or tbs. plz help. Thank you

KT said...

Why don't you do it?

Hungrybabydino Chen said...

Hi again KT, not sure if you can view the photo since blogspot doesn't indicate whether the photo has been uploaded...but I've (successfully!) made these egg tarts this morning and as you warned me, the custard isn't shiny but matte. But nevermind that since the taste is exactly what I miss from home! Might have overbaked it a little but my temperature settings on the oven are slightly fiddly. Nonetheless, this recipe is a keeper. Thanks so much (:

kt said...

You should park yourself by the oven when the custard is 80% done. The difference between just right and overcooked may be just 1 minute.



I can't see your photo but never mind. Glad to hear you like the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kt , do I need to switch on the fan mode when baking egg tarts??

Qonita Nurfitri said...

hi,is so amazing i wi'll try it.

Jason said...

hi there

im wondering

my egg tarts are turn out just well

but there are a dark circle all around the border of the pie crust and the filling when it is baked

any idea?

thanks !

kt said...

The custard is cooking and setting too slowly. Some of it evaporates, leaving egg residue which turns dark in the heat. That's why you have the circle. Suggest you set your oven maybe 15°C higher.

Jolene said...

How rude and ungracious you are.

star101 said...

how many eggs do we need?

crayonmonkey said...

She has a point tho... how can she answer a question if she doesn't know what the question is? Her reply made me chuckle!

Simonne said...

KT,
Thank you for sharing this recipe,
can I know is it okay to bake the egg tart with custard without 'pre bake the shell' ?

Chloe said...

Hi, just wondering whether I can use this pastry recipe for the portuguese tart. Thank you :)

That Oh Damn Dog said...

Hi KT,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post up all these wonderful recipes as well as the videos! Helps a lot (I'm a self-professed baking klutz/idiot). Egg tarts turned out okay (not perfect... working with a microwave convection which has limitations in settings) and tasted good so thought I'd drop a line to thank you for your effort to share the recipes. Appreciate it loads! :o)

Sam said...

Hi KT,


Thanks for the recipe. Can i check if its alright to just sieve the custard once and leave it for 30 mins instead of 1 and 1/4 hr? Is there a reason to let it sit for a long time other than waiting for all the bubbles to subside?

kt said...

The 90-minute wait is only for the bubbles to subside. If you don't want to wait, you could sieve the mixture a second time through a paper pouch. Or you could make the mixture ahead, the day before or up to a week ahead. Sieving is unnecessary and the flavour is nicer because it's had time to develop. I think a 30-minute wait isn't ideal but it's your tarts, not mine. Cheers.

Betty Manuela said...

Hi
Thank you so much i just got out the first tray and taste delicious , i hope wont change the look or taste till tomorrow morning when i must serve them .also i must stop eating them or wont remain for them. Thanks again big hug

ivy hung said...

Hi KT,
I tried your recipe and it just taste fabulous! However, i was wondering why did my tart shell sloped down 1/3 after i prebaked it?

angela said...

Hi, just want to check 240g of egg is = to how many eggs? Am suppose to weight the whole egg with its shells? Thanks

Dora said...

Hi KT, tarts are in the oven half way thru now though custard remains watery, hope it will firm at the end of 30 mins? Smells great though. I hv some questions
1) the crust was only enough for half the custard made, could it be i didnt make the crust thin enough? Is it supposed to be really thin? (My crust occupied half the height of a 12-piece muffin pan)
2) do you think i can blender pulse the dough ingredients rather than mixing by hand? Could it change the texture?
Thank you! :)

Dora said...

Hi KT, glad to report that the custards firmed up and tasted great but took 20 mins longer to firm up than your recipe (i noticed dried ring around the custard edges bc of evaporation). Maybe because i refrigerated the custard liquid before (was away from home for several hours). Should i bake tarts at higher temp if custard liquid is from fridge u think? Thank you again!

Connie said...

There is no Plain Flour in my city. Is it same as Cake Flour or All Purpose Flour?

Kate said...

Thanks for the recipie, looks lovely. If I freeze the tart shells after prebaking, as you suggest, do they need to thaw out before being filled with the custard? Or can I fill and bake them straight out of the freezer?

Bruno said...

Hi can i have a recipe of this for servings for 2?

KT said...

Of course you can, Bruno.

minko said...

Hi, for Hong Kong Egg Tarts Custard Filing, you mentioned that you are adapting Aunty Yochana's recipe, but hers is 280g for the milk and yours is 480g for the milk. Is there a typo error? As the measurement is quite great apart. Look forward for your reply soon.
Thanks.

KT said...

There's no mistake. My adaptation is 1 part eggs to 2 parts milk.

Sakura Hair said...

I just want to make flaky egg tart something like puff . If you have the video and recipe, I do appreciate for that. Thanks.

farius said...

Can i use cake flour for the plain flour? And can i have a recipe of this for serving for 2 as well please?

KT said...

You are too stupid or too lazy to scale the recipe yourself? Or both? Don't you need to ask how to divide what you bake between two people?

farius said...

This is so rude. You are really humiliating and disrespecting me. Can't you just reply with a proper and polite manner?! People come here to learn but not to take your attitude!

KT said...

The recipe states clearly it's for making 20 tarts. If you want to make 10 or 5 instead, you divide the recipe by 2 or 4. Which part of this do you need to learn? The logical reasoning taught to 7-year-olds, or simple division that's also taught to 7-year-olds? My blog teaches readers how to bake and cook, not how to count.

You're humiliated only because you are stupid and lazy. You wouldn't be if you aren't.

Don't bother replying. I have banned you from posting on my blog because of your monumental stupidity.

Post a Comment

 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...