Let's talk about Cantonese egg tarts

My love of eggs goes way back...all the way back as a child eating egg tarts.  Are you familiar with them?  These little egg tarts are a classic from Hong Kong, where I was born.  You can find them here in Chinese bakeries and at some dim sum restaurants (I ate a lot of dim sum growing up; it was something of a ritual for my mother).  We eat egg tarts any time of day, whether at breakfast or midday as a snack.  With Chinese New Year a couple of days away, I thought it was a perfect time for me to try making a batch of my very own.
When it comes to childhood favorites (and I admit I have many), these Cantonese egg tarts are right up there with those little red bean pudding cakes.  I loved them as a kid and my preference has always been for the ones set in a sweet, crispy, shortbread cookie-like crust, as opposed to puff pastry. I've wanted to make them at home for a long time.  Even though I can actually buy them pretty easily (and inexpensively, at little more than a dollar each), the idea of producing a batch in my own kitchen has been something of an aspiration.  I suppose it's natural for those of us who love to bake/cook to want to recreate things we love to eat with our own two hands.
For me, there'd always been some angst at the thought of making these little egg tarts.  The idea almost seemed "scary", which is interesting and odd because when I stepped back and thought about it, we're really only talking about a sweet pastry crust and a variety of egg custard.  I've certainly made both of these - albeit separately - before.  But I think the angst comes from fear of messing up something that's pretty special in my mind.  Egg tarts are all wrapped up in my food memories and I suppose I may have felt that anything I made should live up to the amazing, warm egg tarts of my youth - the kind that I probably had too few of but somehow lives on in my mind.
It was time to stop being silly and to check this off my want-to-do list.  For my first attempt at these egg tarts, I used the recipe I found at The Missing Lokness.  I had looked for, found, and bookmarked a few recipes before I found hers.  You see...the problem is I can't read or write in Chinese and I had trouble finding an easy to follow recipe in English.  I got lucky when I found her post.  The only addition I made was adding a little vanilla extract to the custard.

I have to tell you I feel such a sense of happiness (and a little relief) at accomplishing these egg tarts!  The process was not without drama though.  I was worried because I made the mistake of stretching my crust too thin.  It was my fault for not following instructions better!  I took the crust all the way to the top of the mold instead of 1/4 inch shy of the upper edge as the recipe says.  I read that but reflexes took over and I didn't realize my mistake until they were done.
I was afraid the tarts wouldn't unmold or the crust might break apart because of the thin edges. Luckily, very luckily, the tarts unmolded!  As you can no doubt tell, the fluted edges are fragile but I only had one small piece break off from one of the six tarts.  I was so relieved - and once again reminded that it's simply best to plow on in the face of problems and that things somehow usually work out in the end.  

And taste-wise, it was the real McCoy - a tender, crisp, buttery crust with a lightly sweetened creamy, eggy filling.  Maybe an egg tart doesn't appeal to everyone but it is really precious to me. And the best thing about making them at home is being able to enjoy the tarts warm from the oven, as fresh as it gets.  They might not compare to those truly authentic, fragrant egg tarts found along the streets of Hong Kong but it is certainly a worthy at-home endeavor.
I made these egg tarts Saturday morning and thought I'd extend breakfast into a Hong Kong tea shop eats theme by also making toast with condensed milk.  It's a classic Hong Kong breakfast concoction, made simply with white toast, a little salted butter and a slathering of sweetened condensed milk.  As you can tell, we had a sweet start that morning.

Warning: I have a lot (too much) to say on the topic of egg tarts!

Preparing to make these Cantonese egg tarts, I did a little research to satisfy my curiosity about them. I'll share some of what I learned for anyone interested:

As it turns out, Cantonese egg tarts are something of a spin-off of Portuguese egg tarts, introduced in Macau, once a Portuguese colony (until 1999).  Neighboring Hong Kong was once a British colony (until 1997) and through the influence/confluence of both the Portuguese and British, the Cantonese egg tart was born and became a staple at Hong Kong-style tea shops, which specialize in a fusion of Cantonese and Western-style fare at low prices.  I still love eating at one of these tea shops when I can find one and now that we're on the subject of Macau, I can remember many delicious things we ate in Hong Kong originating from Macau, which was a ferry ride away.
What's the difference between Portuguese and Cantonese egg tarts?  The two are similar but the Portuguese ones are distinguished by a signature dark, caramelized, creme brulee-like, top and always a puff pastry shell.  The Cantonese egg tarts do not have a dark top (it's got a glossy clear surface instead) and can have either a puff pastry or shortbread crust and is a bit more "eggy" and firm in texture.

I've not had many Portuguese egg tarts but I've certainly eaten loads of Cantonese ones.  And the thing is, these egg tarts are really simple - a buttery crust and a lightly sweetened egg custard filling - and that simplicity may be the very reason for its appeal.  Most people have a decided preference when it comes to the crust and mine is for the shortbread.  I just love the tender, crisp, sweet cookie crust against that familiar egg custard filling.  So, so good...and the fresher, the better!

Now that we got that short history out of the way, let's get cooking!  Here's a rundown of what I learned...

The crust

Let's start with the tart tins themselves.  You need ones about 3-inches in width and 1-1/2 inches deep.  Getting the right tins was one reason it took me so long to work on this project but 
Lokness at The Missing Lokness was kind enough to point me to inexpensive ones available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  You can also use disposable tins in roughly the same size (ususally a little more shallow), often used by bakeries and restaurants, as I had first considered.
Plan A: Make 7 tarts (as per recipe) total, including one slightly smaller one 

The recipe is supposed to make enough dough for 7 tarts, or 6 if you want a thicker crust.  I had initially planned to make 6 tarts (since that's the number of tins I invested in) and a slightly smaller seventh using a disposable tin.  I quickly realized I didn't have enough dough and switched gears to make 6 tarts instead.
Plan B: Make 6 tarts because I didn't seem to have enough dough (I made the mistake of taking the dough up to the edge instead of 1/4 inch below)
Now, here's the major mistake I made (so you don't do what I did!).  I started shaping the dough into the tin, pressing and turning and taking it to the top, like you typically would for any tart shell you're making.  (Otherwise, how would you get an even, smooth edge, I reasoned!)  

Well, this recipe actually says to go 1/4-inch shy of the top of the tin.  For some reason, that just didn't resonate with me and I didn't stop to consider the instructions say that for a reason!  I was really in the zone because I have to confess that I take an exorbitant amount of time pressing dough into a tart (I know I shouldn't but I can't help myself).  All I can say is at least I switched gears to make 6 rather than 7 tarts (so I had a little more dough to work with) and thank goodness for relatively forgiving recipes!  
I chilled these overnight to use first thing in the morning
I was worried about my thin fluted edges but it was too late to correct it.  All I could do was cross my fingers and hope they hold up.

Another thing I'll point out is the recipe instructs you to poke a few holes into the pastry. This is another example where reading too many recipes, researching too much, can completely muddle you (or me, anyway)!  I'd read someplace else that you should not poke holes or the filling could leak out.  And most recipes I looked up did not call for docking the crust.  I have to admit I only docked the crust of 2 of the 6 tarts.  In the end, I found no noticeable difference in docking vs. not.  I did have one tart with a concave bottom.  I'm pretty sure it was one that had not been docked with a fork.  This isn't all that conclusive though because the other 5 were just fine.  I'll say that if you do dock the pastry, do so lightly.  I don't think leaking custard is a big concern.

Lastly, I'll note that you do not pre-bake these tarts.  This concerned me a bit (see what I mean by "angst"!) because I'm used to pre-baking pastry crusts.  A couple of recipes did call for a brief pre-baking of the shells but most did not.  I decided to stick with the recipe I was using and not pre-bake.  I'd messed around with the recipe enough already!


The egg custard filling
The interesting thing about this egg custard filling is the first step of making a sugar syrup and adding it, cooled, into the mixture of eggs and a little evaporated milk.  I think this method of adding sugar syrup makes for a smooth custard and that signature shiny top.  The recipe actually did not include vanilla extract but I added a generous 1/4 teaspoon because I really like it.

It's important to strain the custard through a sieve before filling the tarts to remove the air bubbles on the surface and to get rid of any lumps.  The goal is for as smooth as surface as possible.
Fill the tarts about 80% full with the custard.  It will bubble up slightly as it finishes baking.  
Then set it carefully in a 375 degree oven.  I placed it in the lower third of my oven (to hopefully cook the bottom of the tart well - something I'd read in other recipes).  The instructions call for 18-22 minutes baking time but mine actually took closer to 30 minutes to be done.  In other words, it's important to look for clues to doneness instead of relying on the clock.  The filling should be dry, mostly set, and puffed up slightly.  The crust should be golden.  I'd read somewhere that if a toothpick stands up in the custard, it's done.  I had to try it (but note you will have a little hole in your custard surface).
If a toothpick stands up in the custard, it's done!
I almost couldn't believe I'd gotten this far!  Now, the final challenge/concern was how to unmold the tarts...
Baked!  They've got that signature glossy wet top but it's set in the center
The tarts seemed pretty firmly glued to their tins.  Luckily, instructions to tap the bottom of the tins to remove them worked!!  I was so happy because I really wasn't sure they would come out in one piece.  I only had one little fluted edge break off from one tart so I can't complain given my mistake(s).  
Very grateful the tarts came out of their tins
So what do you think?  A little too much drama around a humble little egg tart?  Maybe...but I really had to get that off my chest!  I'm also really glad I finally tackled them and I have a feeling there will be far less drama next time around.  That's one of the best part of learning - the experience teaches you so much.  And I really want to make these again - minus the mistakes!

Well, I know that's more than you ever wanted to see or know about Chinese egg tarts so I'll stop here.  Have a great day and I hope you indulge in one of your childhood favorites soon!


Recipe

Cantonese Egg Tarts
Adapted from recipe posted at The Missing Lokness

- For 6 tarts - 

Tart tins that are 3-inches wide and 1-1/2 inches deep are recommended for these egg tarts.  I bought them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  If you can't find that, you could consider using similar size disposable tart tins.  I find those tins are generally a little less deep so you should be able to make an extra tart.

For the pastry crusts:
115 grams cake flour, sifted
70 grams butter, at room temperature
20 grams powdered sugar
10 grams evaporated milk
1/2 large egg yolk, at room temperature

For the egg custard filling:
145 ml water
45 grams granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
40 grams evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make pastry crusts: Beat butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the 1/2 egg yolk and mix together.  Add evaporated milk and beat well, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  On low-speed, add flour gradually and mix until dough begins to come together.  Using your hands, lightly press the dough together to form a ball.  Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, form it into a round disk, and chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 6 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a ball and then flatten it into a disk between the palms of your hands.  Place the disk into the tart and press the dough into and up the tart tin, stopping about 1/4 inch below the top edge of the tin (if you take the crust all the way to the top of the tin like I mistakenly did, the sides of your tart might be too thin and you risk breakage when you try to unmold them).  Lightly poke a few holes into the crust with a fork.  Repeat with remaining and then chill tarts in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or overnight (I wrapped them in plastic wrap on a baking sheet and chilled overnight).

Make egg custard filling: Start by making a simple sugar syrup.  Bring water  to a boil in a small saucepan.  Lower the heat and add sugar, mixing until sugar completely melts.  Set aside to cool completely (I did this the night before along with the tart crusts).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs together.  Then gently whisk in evaporated milk, the cooled sugar syrup, and vanilla extract.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  Remove any remaining air bubbles on top of the custard with a spoon.  

Bake tarts: Set tart tins on a baking sheet.  Divide the custard among the tarts, filling the tarts 80% full with the mixture (it will puff up a bit during baking).  Bake until the egg custard has puffed up a bit, is mostly set, and the crust is golden, roughly 18-22 minutes (or up to 30 minutes, like mine took).  In general, keep a close eye on the tarts, particularly near the end of the baking time to avoid over browning; some tarts may be done before others.  You can test the custard's readiness by placing a toothpick into it; if the toothpicks stands straight, the custard is set (but note this will have a hole on the surface of your custard).  

Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.  To unmold, tap the bottom of tart tin lightly on your work surface.  Carefully turn it over and remove the tart from its tin.  Serve immediately, while still warm, for best taste.

Egg tarts can be stored, covered at room temperature, for up to 2 days.  You could also refrigerate the tarts.  Bring back to room temperature or refresh them by warming in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes before eating.  


  


68 comments:

  1. I am so happy these turned out perfectly and I totally get where you're coming from about wanting them to be perfect. There are a few recipes from my childhood that I don't dare reconstruct for fear of messing with nostalgia and my memory of them. But these turned out perfectly!!

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    1. Thanks for the generous praise, Joanne. They are far from perfect but I'll take it! I'm just really glad I gave it a try (finally). I'm glad you know what I mean about messing with nostalgia!

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  2. Oh my goodness Monica - I love that you made these Cantonese egg tarts! Yours look phenomenal! These were my absolute favorite growing up and still are to this day! I've tried the Portugese ones in Macau too but the Cantonese ones still can't be beat in my book :)
    I have always been too scared to make them and have seen them on a few blogs too - your detailed photos and instructions are fantastic!
    Maybe some day I will muddle up the courage to attempt to make these and if or when I do, I will definitely be referring to your page :) Your crusts and filling set to perfection and look even better than the ones you can buy in the Chinese bakeries - fantastic job Monica!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kelly! Thank goodness for blogger friends like you who are so sweet and encouraging! I'm so glad you also love them like I do!!. When we were in SF, the Golden Gate bakery was closed for summer vacation - ugh! I really wanted to try one after hearing so much about it! Have you had one there?

      Thanks for all the kind words...I made a couple of serious mistakes so I'm just lucky it came together in the end. I think reading too much about these really muddled me up (that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!). Right now, I am very tempted to make them again and hopefully "get it right" but at the same time, I'm satisfied and don't want to mess it up! I hope you have a good egg tart real soon, whether you make it yourself or not! xo

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  3. They have turned out PERFECT, esp. the smooth egg filling..definitely the winner!

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    1. I think the filling is where I didn't mess up too much! : ) Thanks, Angie.

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  4. Oh mine! What beautiful things you made there! :) ela

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    1. I love that golden, sunlight color on them. Thanks!

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  5. Well you definitely taught me something today - I had never heard of egg tarts before! There is something slightly scary about trying to re-create a food that has such strong memories. I was that way with my grandma's cookies for the longest time - but it does feel so good once you do it (and they turn out as hoped)! These look fantastic!

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    1. Oh, so glad it was something new for you...you must have been wondering what's all this about some little egg tarts! : ) It's true...some things are very "scary" to think about messing with or attempting...but I'm glad I did. At least I can quit thinking about doing it now!

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  6. Monica - the crust on these tarts is perfect, and beautiful and delicate! Love the history of these tarts and the recipe step by step. I bet the custard is so creamy!

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    1. Thanks so much, Tricia! I am just lucky those tarts came out! I don't really expect anyone to read all that jabbering but thank you for paying attention. The custard is really creamy - I didn't mess that up too much, luckily!

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  7. Thanks Monica! I think thanks to your detailed experiment we're ready to face any egg tart eventuality ;)!
    But that's great though, it really does help to know what works and what doesn't. Yours came out so beautiful! Well done! Btw, a pin can help loosen the pastry in the tart tins. I use a straight pin if I meet resistance with my tarts!

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    1. HA! You got me there, Nazneed! Sorry it's all a lot of 'don't do what I did' but I had to get it off my chest! That is such a marvelous tip about the pin!!! Love it and I will surely remember it for the future - thank you!

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  8. These look gorgeous. I have always wanted to try to make egg tarts at home, but never had the courage to do so. Your photos and and step wise instructions are so clear, one day I will try it.

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    1. Oh, I'm so happy to hear from someone else who wants to make these at home but has been reluctant like me. I'm sure you would do a marvelous job, Balvinder! Thanks for reading! : )

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  9. I have never had a cantonese egg tart! They look fantastic. I must try one!

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    1. Yes...do give it a try if you see one in a Chinese bakery or in a dim sum restaurant. : )

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  10. These look absolutely PERFECT, Monica! I love hearing all your passion about egg tarts. And all your photos are beautiful!

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    1. haha - yes, a little too much passion on this particular topic...couldn't restrain myself. ; ) Thank you, Marie!

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  11. I've never had a Cantonese egg tart before but yours make me want to try one (or a few!) Yum!

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    1. Oh good! - hope you try one one of these days and let me know what you think...depends if you like egg custards and if you get a good one.

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  12. Beautiful! and you win: i had cantonese egg tarts all set to go on the blog, but yours are definitely more authentic and truly gorgeous, so i'll defer to you...for now. Although you never know because reading this made me think of something you'd like. *secrets* :)
    I never knew the history behind them! I had seen both types (portugese and cantonese) in my research but didn't know which came first or why; now i do!
    and seriously: toast with condensed milk? you really are trying to trash all my new years' resolutions in terms of diet, aren't you. :)

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    1. wait...are you saying you are/were planning to do a cantonese egg tart recipe, too?! That is incredible! You might be on to something with the 'twin brains'! These little tarts have a special place in my heart - I wasn't very familiar with the Portuguese connection so I'm happy to finally understand some of the connection and history involving them. I do know that as a kid, we ate a lot of good stuff from Macau and it all sort of makes sense now...

      And yes - condensed toast with milk is yet another childhood favorite and I confess to making them at home! Diets are totally over-rated anyway. ; )

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  13. Beautiful! I'm going to bookmark this since it's so informative :-) I've been wanting to make the Portuguese tarts for a while, after seeing them on Great British Bake Off...

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    1. Glad you think so, Aimee...thought I'm sure it's a bit confusing reading about 'what not to do!' Great British Bake Off sounds like great TV. Is that the show where Biscoff was invented...

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  14. These look awesome girl, so elegant and well styled. I suddenly feel the urge to put on a pretty dress and throw a tea party. You're invited, please bring these tarts. ;)

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    1. haha - that gave me a good laugh! Little tarts and bright yellows do conjure up a tea party. I'd be happy to bring some of these to a tea party with you but I'd have to make another/better batch...I'm not sure my delicate crusts here would've made the commute to Bklyn! : )

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  15. I paid 3 bucks for one tiny egg tart last weekend, and didn't even eat the whole thing.. I thought it was to eggy now that I see this I could have made them for cheaper. I have been craving them after I regretted throwing it away.. Lovely recipe...

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    1. $3! That's a lot for one egg tart! I was telling my husband that (according to Serious Eats) you can get 2 (very good ones) for little more than a buck! I need to get to Chinatown and seek out some good ones again soon. They are not all created equal...but make them yourself and you are a lot more forgiving... : ) Thank you!

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  16. I've had these at dim sum - sooo good! I'm so glad yours came out so great! I'm also preparing for Chinese New Year :)

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    1. Cool! I think the dim sum ones are usually made with puff pastry. Usually smaller, 3 to a plate? I am not a huge fan of those but of course, it all depends. I'm so glad yours were good and you liked them. You are preparing for CNY? That is so awesome. Have a happy one, Jessica! : )

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  17. I've never seen anything like this before...love this idea!

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    1. These are extremely common where I'm from (Hong Kong). Next time you're in a Chinatown, I'm sure you'll spot some in a bakery. : )

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  18. San Francisco is famous for these egg tarts but yours look so much better! These are gorgeous and the custard looks perfectly creamy!

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    1. Yes, you're right. I tried going to the Golden Gate Bakery, which is truly famous for them, when we were visiting last summer, but they were closed for summer vacation. : ( I wished mine looked better but you are sweet to say so - thank you!

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  19. I really enjoyed this post Monica! Thanks for the helpful tips on how to avoid any mistake... I just ruined two recipes I was developing and I don't think I could handle failure once more ;-)
    The history lesson was lovely as well! Thanks for sharing.
    These egg tarts look adorable, and the shiny top looks wonderful. I adore how they turned out in the end. Looks like all the drama was worth it, right?
    Happy Chinese Year my friend! <3

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    1. Awww...thank you, Consuelo! I know what you mean about mistakes/failures...I get discouraged when I get a couple of "no-go" recipes and I really need something to work and excite me again. I adore the shiny top on these, too...I really had fun learning more about them (and eating them, too)...thanks for "listening". It was definitely worth the drama.

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  20. They're gorgeous! And what a relief that they came out of their tins so easily. I must admit that I find the idea of making them daunting -also because I love that layered puff like pastry that you can get at some places. I really want to find a recipe for that pastry!

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    1. Thank you, Lorraine! Your Chinese New Year feast looked so, so amazing!! If you find these egg tarts daunting, you can imagine how I feel. I've always loved this shortbread kind of crust but I feel like most people prefer the puff pastry? I wonder if you can literally use puff pastry, cut around a tart tin, pre-bake it, and go from there...

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  21. Ahhh I am definitely familiar with these egg tarts! In fact my friends and I are planning to have dimsum this weekend and I was already thinking of getting these afterwards in Chinatown. I never would've attempted to make them myself, but thanks to you and your recipe, I might just try my hand at them :)

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    1. Yay for another egg tart fan! It's awesome if you have a good place to get egg tarts from. I hope you try making them one day...I bet you could make it in a breeze!

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  22. We always have these to finish off dim sum. I didn't realise there was a difference in pastry between the Cantonese and Portuguese tarts but now I do. Well done on the perfect glossy custards. Love them.

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    1. Hi - yes! These egg tarts or some of those sweet little buns (or a tofu dessert soup) are all great ways to finish off dim sum. The Cantonese tarts can have either a shortbread crust or a puff pastry one but Portuguese tarts are in puff pastry, probably one reason I've not had many. Thanks and have a great weekend!

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  23. The color on your egg tart is gorgeous! I thought they were lemon tarts at first. I don't think I've ever had an egg tart before, but I definitely want to try one!

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    1. It's funny you say that, Christin...because I've made lemon tarts (love 'em!) before and I've had people tell me it looks like egg tart. Obviously, they were egg tart aficionados. : ) If you see one, give it a try...although sometimes they're not that great in dim sum type restaurants (bakeries have better ones usually).

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  24. I love dim sum so much. If I ever have kids they will prolly be scarred by dim sum because I'll force them to eat it at every opportunity. And I'll force them to eat way more than they can (being kids with small stomachs), by goading them on... "what? you're full already? wimps!"

    I've made a version of these at home before, and they were fantastic.

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    1. Hi Emma! Let me tell you something...it is entirely possible to make a kid dislike ("hate" seems like such a harsh word) dim sum. I am a good example. My mother took us relentlessly like clockwork. Aside from these egg tarts and roast pork buns I had to look forward to, I was pretty sick of it as a kid. Now I'm grown and wise and craving dim sum all the time! No wimp here.

      You've made a version! Love that!! I bet yours are awesome and drama-free! : )

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  25. These egg tarts are perfect Monica!! Such a great photo of them cut in half and such a lovely post. I gave my kids condensed milk on toast this morning on your recommendation. They, and I, loved it!! Here is to the year of the Horse - Happy New Year :-)

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    1. Oh my goodness! haha - I can't believe you made the toast! So glad everyone liked it...what's not to like, right? I've eaten many of those and loved it every time. : ) Thank you so much, Jo!!

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  26. Kudos for doing this!! I am saving this for the next time I make egg tarts. So many good tips! :) Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Alyssa - thank you! I am so glad to get this off my want-to-do list because it's been in the back of my mind forever!! Sorry it's a lot of 'what not to do's' but hope it'll be helpful nonetheless. Thanks again and Happy New Year! : )

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  27. hi,how are you, Instead for the filling instead of evoaporated milk, can I just use plain regular milk, is the water measurement then the same ? also, I have A request, can you show us how to make chinese white honeycomb rice steamed cake, step by step pictures and in cup measurements, because I don't own a scale, thank you very much...

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    1. I wish I could help you but as a novice in the kitchen, I use this blog to write about recipes I try and what I've learned. As I wrote in this case, it took me a long time to find a recipe I felt comfortable with and to get up the nerve to try to make these egg tarts. I'm no expert on it and not in a position to offer any advice on substitutions. And I'm not familiar with the steamed rice cake you're referring to. Good luck on your search!

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  28. I love these egg tarts! They're the stuff of my childhood (: And you've recreated them so beautifully. I really liked the little bit of history on their origin too. Love this post, Monica! (:

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    1. So happy to hear that, Monica! I've thought about trying them for so long - thank goodness they were finally done! I hope I didn't mess up on the history. I'm learning as well!

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  29. You made homemade egg tarts! May I come over? :) You know how much I love these? I can start eating egg tarts when I go to dim sum. If there are warm ones, I'd take these even though I haven't started to eat the savory dishes. One day I want to make these... probably lots and lots of practice though. And I'll be scared of unmold these too. Keeping your recipe!

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    1. Haha - I am with you. I can eat egg tarts and sweet buns right at the beginning or middle of dim sum along with the savory, no problem! It was fun to finally make these...I need practice, too, but first time is always the scariest.

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  30. Gorgeous tarts, Monica! The fluted edge and shiny top are beautiful. Thank you for sharing this recipe. So glad you overcame the angst involved with so successfully baking a memory! :) I love the toothpick tip!
    Question from an uninformed tart maker: I understand you were working on the "perfect" tart and that you are particular about picture perfect even crust. But, once you realized the crust was up too high on the molds, couldn't it just be pushed down a bit around the top? Would that just produce a lumpy crust that wouldn't bake evenly? In the end, it didn't matter because yours are wonderful. I would have pushed and pinched (and cried).

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    1. Thank you, Wendy! And I did try to do just that as far as pushing the dough down! But unfortunately, the dough was already stretched thin and tight against the tart pan so I could only do very, very little as far as trying to push it down. Short of scraping the whole thing out and re-doing (which would probably make the pastry way too tough) or re-making the dough altogether, I just had to let it go and hope for the best. It's amazing how relatively forgiving things are...I try not to stress too much and just learn from it. As you might be able to tell, I have these missteps often enough to be used to it by now. I loved that Nazneen shared the pin tip with us, too!

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  31. I've had these at a dim sum restaurant and I love them! Custard is one of my favorite textures/flavors. These look so so good!!! :)

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    1. I LOVE an egg custard so these are just so special to me from eating them as a kid. They smell so good straight from the oven. Try them at a Chinese bakery one day...they tend to be better than the ones at dim sum restaurants...

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  32. Monica, your egg tarts look so good! I actually didn't have any when I was in HK. I can't believe I completely forgot about it. After seeing your post, I am craving for them now. I will have to make them next week. By the way, love your toothpick tip! I think I need to do that. The one with the toothpick hole can just be mine for tea time. :D I am so happy that you tried the recipe. Thanks a lot for linking back!

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    1. Hi!! Thank YOU so much for all your help and for posting the recipe that finally got me moving. : ) It was kind of nerve-wracking to try this and I have yet to summon the courage to give it another go to get it better. One day! : ) The toothpick thing does work...the little hole is no problem as far as I'm concerned either! : ) And I can't believe you didn't get some real egg tarts in HK! But I'm sure you had lots of other amazing eats - there's just not enough time for all the good stuff...I'm drooling thinking about it right now...

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    2. Hi. Thrilled to find your blog by googling "langues de chat" recipes and as a bonus, I found this recipe today. I just love egg tarts sold at dim sum places and will definitely try this one for my next party. I have been searching for years and hope this is it! Thank you.

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    3. Hi, thanks for the note! Coincidentally enough, I just made these egg tarts again over the holiday break! They turned out wonderfully and were a big hit with my in-laws. I remembered to not press the dough all the way up my tart pans and it worked beautifully. Hope you try it and enjoy it. Happy New Year!

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