Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hong Kong Egg Tart / 香港蛋挞 - (AFF - HK / Macau #2)

Both me and Max I loves Hong Kong egg tarts. This pastry-crust filled with egg custard and baked snack were introduced in Hong Kong in the 1940's by Hong Kong-style teahouses (茶餐厅). Hong Kong egg tart is an adaption of English custard tarts, as Cantonese had more frequent contact with the West, in particular Britain back then. 


When we talk about Hong Kong egg tarts, it is widely known that they have two kinds of tart shells. The puff pastry-like (酥皮), or some called it as water and oil pastry base (油皮水皮) and the other one is cookie pastry-like (饼皮), or some called it as butter pastry base (牛油皮).

I remember how HongKong Tai Cheong bakery (泰昌饼家) cookie pastry egg tarts got me crazy during my first visit to Hong Kong. Their egg tarts has the best consistency of both egg custard and the crust. Oh Yumm!!! Look at the snacks I bought from Tai Cheong bakery! Hahaha... No! You are supposed to look at the egg tarts only :)


The one I'm making here is cookie pastry-like (饼皮) egg tart. It takes me two attempts to get it right. The first time, I did the crust right, but the egg custard needs improvement. The 2nd time was much better. Both crust and egg custard's texture is achieved. Comparing to Tai Cheong's egg tart, mine is softer in texture and do fall apart easily.


Ingredients (Makes 6 Egg Tarts)
(Source : Wendyinkk, and iCook.tw as a reference)

for Pastry
  • 140g Plain Flour
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • ½ Egg White
  • 75g Salted Butter
for Filling
  • 75g Castor Sugar or fine sugar
  • 75g Hot Water
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 125ml Fresh Milk
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • a pinch of fine salt
Note : Pls do not substitute butter with Margarine, Planta, Buttercup or Farm Cows. They won't be the same. When it comes to recipes that ask for butter, do use butter - SCS, Anchor, President, Lurpak and so on.

Method (for Pastry)
  1. Cream butter with icing sugar, egg yolk and egg white. I'm using hand-held mixer.
  2. Add in flour and mix well. Once it is well mixed, using hand, press the mixture together and form a dough. If the dough is too wet or oily, do add some flour. Give it a few knead. But don't over-work the dough.
  3. Wrap the dough in a clingwrap. Put it into the fridge for 10 to 15mins to let it cool.
  4. Take the dough out of the fridge. Cut pastries into 6 equal portion. The individual dough should weight about 38 grams each. 
  5. Roll individual dough into a ball. Using both palm, press the pastry ball into a flat piece. Line dough in the middle of tart cases, lightly press the dough into the tart cases. 
  6. Refrigerate the tart cases for 30mins, and it is ready to use. 
Method (for Filling)
  1. Add castor sugar into hot water, mix until sugar completely dissolved. Set aside and let it cool. 
  2. Beat eggs with milk, vanilla essence and salt. Pour in sugar water. Mix well. 
  3. Sift egg mixture TWICE to achieve smooth egg mixture.
  4. Carefully pour egg mixture into each tart shells. 
  5. Bake tarts for 25mins at 180 degree, fan ON.


This is how the tart pastry looked like after pastry is pressed on the tart case. When you press the dough into the tart cases, you should make the pastry higher, so as to build a wall at the side, so that the tart will be able to carry more egg mixture.


Take tarts out of the refrigerator, carefully pour egg mixture into each tart shells.


Tart shells must be filled with egg fillings fully. So that the result of the egg tart would be nice. I don't like half-filled tarts by the way.


After baked for 25 mins, and tadaaaa!!!


Look at the egg custard. It's sweet, soft, smooth and satisfying. It was buttery and abit at the crumb side, but still hold it's shape. The aromas were mouth-watering, especially when the eggy custard was still piping hot. It melt in my mouth almost instant!


This recipe is a good keeper.

Do try it out!


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Hong Kong + Macau ) – Jan+Feb Month hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food

82 comments:

  1. cantik wei...... melt into my mouth better la

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    1. Hahaha.. Anyway, your recipe is a good guide. Thanks Wendy! *Mmmuacks!*

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  2. Love your egg tarts. Yum yum yum....

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  3. this looks lovely! thanks for the tip on building up on the wall :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting my blog. Yes. building walls indeed looked better. If you see those HK egg tarts selling outside, their filling is taller and fuller. That's because of the walls!

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  4. Enjoy reading this post. I used to have leftover filling as the pastry not 'tall' enough to hold. Now I know shape the dough higher than the tart mould. Thanks for the tip!

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  5. I eat this from the bakery all the time, but you have inspired me to make it myself. You make it look so easy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kizzy, it is easy. But if it is your first attempt, maybe result would not be nice. Do practice more and I'm sure you will have good result :)

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  6. Good morning,
    Thanks for sharing a good tip with the pastry. Definitely will try this recipe. Thanks

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  7. thanks 4 sharing annie...i x sabar nk cuba...my current recipe is ok but the crust cepat sgt lembut...mcm masuk angin.

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    1. Hi Aisyah, egg tarts is best eaten while it's hot and fresh. Jangan simpan lama. Haha.. If u keep too long, memang lah crust become lembut. Haha :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Regarding the pastry method on creaming butter with caster sugar. Just to confirm is with caster sugar or icing sugar as the ingredient list for pastry method is icing sugar whereas the filing method is caster sugar.

    Look forward to hear from you soon!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Yes. Creaming butter with icing sugar. Icing sugar gives "melting feel" to the crust. However, if you want to use castor sugar, you can. It is up to you. For the filling, you need to melt it. So, you can either use caster sugar, or fine sugar. It's okay for both. But pls dont use icing sugar for the filling. Because icing sugar has starch content :)

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  9. Annie, I am so glad I found your blog!! I lived in HK for a few years in my early twenties, and fell in love with the people...and the food! It is so hard to find good HK recipes in English. lol I'm excited to keep reading your blog. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Aunt LoLo, thank you for visiting my blog. I love Hong Kong and their food too :)

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  10. Hi Annie,

    I cant wait to try your recipe tonight. I have made Dan tarts a lot in the past, and my recipe is similar to yours- but I want to give yours a try. I;m assuming you put yellow food colouring into your egg to give it the golden yellow colour? Also what are your thoughts on baking the tart cases first, then putting the egg in and re-baking it? :)

    I have seen it done both ways!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Seijun, Nope. I never put any yellow food coloring into my tart. You can bake the tart cases 1st and put the egg filling in and bake it further. But in my humble opinion, i think the egg custard might dis-engage with the tart skin. I'm not sure. I never try before. Let me know if you have tried it :)

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  11. Thanks for the recipe, just wonder if we can skip the egg yolk or replace it with other ingredient?

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    1. Hi Anonymous, Egg tart is egg tart. The whole egg includes the yolk. I never try skipping egg yolk before. If you have tried it, do let me know :)

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  12. Thank you so much, I have been looking all over for a good egg tart recipe!

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  13. This is the fourth recipe from your website that I have tried. Just as awesome as the other 3 recipes you put up. The family loved it! Your recipe has been fail proof so far, u r an amazing cook! Lookg forward to your next post!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ethan, I'm so glad to hear that. And I'm happy that my little effort could bring some joy to your family's dining table. Keep it up! Cook more for them! :)

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  14. Hi Annie, tried your recipe and love the tarts! Thanks for sharing it along with all the tips. My family enjoyed it very much :)

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    1. Hi Cassandra, I'm glad that your family loves it :)

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  15. I made some egg tarts today, but the filling was too firm. Is your egg tart filling more creamy or firm?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Baking Ribbon, it's in-between. If your egg filling is firm, maybe your eggs is XXL eggs. When eggs ratio is more, egg fillings will be more firm :)

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  16. hi, Annie:
    what is the size of your tart case?

    thanks

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  17. Hi, second time trying this recipe . Turns out great. But instead of 25 mins, it took almost 50 mins. I wonder why?? I bake at 180 for 25 mins and it's hardly cook.

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    1. Hi chin jack, the result should be wobbly egg custard after 25 mins. When the egg tart is cooled, the custard will be firmer. If you expect the custard to be firm right after it is out of the oven, then you will need to increase the eggs ratio.

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  18. Hi, second time trying out this recipe and turns out great for the taste but there's one problem which I need help. Instead of 180 for 25 mins, it took 180 for 50 mins instead. Any idea?? Follow according to ur recipe

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  19. Hi Annie! i am wondering if you've got a video of how you shape the shell? I am having problem pressing the dough into the pretty shape that you have in the pictures. Thanks a lot for the recipe! :D

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    Replies
    1. Ya. I have the same problem also

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    2. Nope. I don't have a video. But practice makes perfect. Do try again. I'm sure you can :)

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  20. Hi Annie! I tried this recipe today, it was very good! A little too sweet though so will be reducing the sugar next time. Pastry was easy to make but I will probably use flaky/puff pastry next time as that is how I like it! Very easy recipe, thanks!
    jnylng.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. Hi Annie, thanks so much for the recipe. You've inspired me to bake egg tarts! Just to check, do you sift the plain flours?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, you dont have to sieve. Unless your flour looked lumpy, then, you may consider to sieve them,

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  22. Hi Annie, I've tried your recipe, however, the crust didn't turn out good. May I know which rack of the oven did you use for baking these egg tarts? Nevertheless, thanks so much for the recipe! :)

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  23. Is it normal that there are still a lot of mixture left?

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    Replies
    1. If you are like me, make tall tart case, you shouldn't have leftover egg mixture. If you do have lots of egg mixture left, it means your tart case is not tall enough to hold more egg mixture. Do try again next time :)

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  24. Hi Annie, I'm just wondering if I can use unsalted butter instead of salted butter? Does it make a difference?

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    Replies
    1. You can use unsalted for sure. Do add a pinch of salt to the dough. Salt makes it taste better :)

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  25. Hi Annie, Thanks for your recipe. My egg tarts turn out nice but pastry a bit firm. How to let the pastry not too firm?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, you probably overworked your dough. Play too long. OR... you unintentionally added too much flour to it. Do try again next time :)

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  26. Very excited to try your recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Hi M Wong, I hope you've tried the recipe by now :)

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  27. Hello, I tried this recipe today, but my crust doesn't seen to turn brown. The eggs couldn't set too. Did I do something wrong?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Candice,

      The way I see how you described, you probably underbaked your egg tart. Did you pre-heat your oven before you put the egg tart in?

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  28. Hi, my pastry doesn't seem to be very crispy. Did I do anything wrong?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous. pastry WILL NOT turn crispy. It will be soft and reasonably firm that hold it's shape. Pastry is VERY fragile once it's out of the oven. Once it's cooled, it will be easier to handle.

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  29. Hi Annie, thks for the recipe. It's very helpful and easy to understand for a beginner like me. However, my tart crust seems to be a little undercooked, not sure what's wrong. Is it because I put it in the fridge for too long? I accidentally left it in there for about 40mins.

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  30. thank you for the recipe! I baked it last nice and it turns out very nice...

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  31. Hello, may I know the 1/2 egg white, is it 1/2 of the 1 full egg?

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  32. Greetings Annie! i would really like to make this recipe a try. I would just like to ask something. May i know how big are your tart pans? Having said that you made 6 of them and mentioning the weight of the pastry per tart pan should be.

    1. I just want to know the size of the pan you used.
    2. Is the final product the same size/weight as that of Tai Cheong egg tart?
    3. Would adding cornstarch to the filling make it a little more denser or compact? if so, any idea how much?

    hope to hear from you soon!

    more power and God bless! :)

    GC

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    1. I forgot the exact pan size. It should be around 3 inch in size. I don't know the weight for Tao Cheong egg tart. I didn't compare mine with Tao Cheong side by side. Sorry for that. And I didn't add corn flour before. If you did, could you share with me if the result is good?

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  33. I don't have a mixer. Can I just use a spatula and mix them up instead? :(

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    1. You can use a whisk in replace of mixer :)

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  34. Hi annie! May i know if the salted butter is softened or cold? Also, can i use foil tart cases instead of the metal ones that you are using in your post?

    Can't wait to try this recipe out!

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    1. Hi Shiqi, sorry for my late reply. Pls use only COLD butter. If u use softened butter, you will ruin it. And yes, foil tart case is fine to use :)

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    2. Hi Shiqi, sorry for my late reply. Pls use only COLD butter. If u use softened butter, you will ruin it. And yes, foil tart case is fine to use :)

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  35. Hi Annie, I tried this recipe and used frozen tart shells from Costco (too lazy :P). I can make a dozen with the egg mixture because of the size of the frozen tart shell. Everyone said I can open my own bakery to sell egg tarts :D. I have sent this recipe to all my Chinese friends. Thanks a lot of sharing this great recipe.

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    1. Hi Amy, I'm glad tt you like the recipe. Happy baking! :)

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  36. Hi annie, can i keep dough overnigth in fridge or frozen? n for baking mode.. is it ok to use bottom n fan mode .. instead of fan mode only .. thks in advance yah.. Brgds Silvia

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    1. Hi Silva, keeping dough overnight in the fridge should be fine. Pls cling wrap it well to prevent from drying. I have no idea on the temperament of your oven. But for general tart baking, it's top and bottom heat and fan mode on.

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  37. A really pressing question I can't seem to find the answer to.... Why does al recipes for short crust egg tart pastry use butter. It always taste so buttery that the egg custard is no longer the highlight. But when I buy from the store in Australia or in mainland china, Guangzhou the pastry is much less buttery and the delicate ness of the egg custard shines through......

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  38. Hi there,
    This may sound like a stupid question.
    I'm a newbie in baking and can't figure out which heating element to switch on.
    Top or bottom or both?
    Would appreciate yr advice.
    Thank u.

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    Replies
    1. Top and bottom heating element ON and fan ON :)

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  39. Hi Annie
    Do we need to bake the tart shell 1st before pour in the eggs mixture?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eling, nope. You don't have to pre-bake the egg tart shell.

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    2. Result came out the pastry is soggy like prata leh & not crispy type. How come leh?

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  40. I've just tried this recipe, is tasted so good! thanks :)

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    1. Thank you Peng. I'm glad that you liked it.

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  41. hmm interesting...

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  42. You don't put sugar on top and burn it. Will taste great.

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  43. Great recipe, tried it and it turned out so well! However I would suggest reducing the sugar by about 10-20g, cos it was way too sweet. But overall it smelled like Hk egg tarts!! Thanks for the recipe!

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  44. Thanks for the great recipe. I'm baking it right now. Do I have to keep it in the oven after the tarts are cooked? Will the filling shrink if I remove it straight from the oven?

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