Friday, November 19, 2010

Hong Kong Egg Tarts (Lily-Inspired)

Lily Ng from Lily Wai Sek Hong Blogspot is my 'Cooking Buddy'.  Thanks to free SKYPE, we are able to chat with no reservations about our latest creations and food experiments and many times surf the net together for new inspiration and to do research.  We can show each other our successes and failures that never made it to the blog.  She is a great source of inspiration and mentor to many and definitely to me.  She is like an older sister that I always wish I had.
It is a rare find to have someone who shares a similar passion in cooking and eating !  We always have great laughs and great food conversations. Hong Kong Egg Tart is a result of  countless hours of surfing the net, watching You-tubes and discussion of the different pastries and the perfect custard filling.  Sometimes we bemoan the fact that we are not proficient in Mandarin and frequent checking the dictionaries can drain one's enthusiasm.  It can turn out to be a guessing game at times.  Nevertheless, if there is a will, there is a way!
My first try of Hong Kong Egg Tart made in Ramekins

Unfortunately, I do not have the authentic egg tart pans.  I was so motivated after she took the lead to make the tarts that I decided that I am going to make the tart with or without the right tart pans.  Ramekins will have to work for now.  Here is my tart and the recipe can be found in Lily's blog  Hong Kong Egg Tarts or below.

It is not complicated to make especially with the help of a food processor for the pastry. You don't have an excuse now for not making it. My children and friends loved it and want more! I hope this will inspire you to make your own egg tarts. Happy Egg-Tart Making!


8 ounces or 1 4/5 cups all-purpose flour
2 ounces or 1/4 cup sugar or powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
4 1/2 ounces (1 stick plus 1 Tbs. chilled butter - cut into 1/2 inch cubes 
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

Custard Filling:
3 large eggs 
4 ounces or 1/2 cup sugar (take away 1 tbsp for lesser sweetness)
225 ml or 1 cup hot water 
3 fluid ounces evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops of yellow yolk food coloring


Crust : 
Place flour, sugar or powdered sugar and salt into the food processor bowl and pulse to mix.

Add in chilled cubed butter and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumb. 

With the motor on, pour the beaten egg and vanilla mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream until the dough starts coming together.  Do not over mixed. 

Remove and wrap dough with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using. 
Filling :
Melt sugar in hot water and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool syrup to room temperature.
Add in evaporated milk, food coloring and vanilla, stir well.
Beat eggs lightly and add in to the above.
Strain egg mixture through a fine sieve.  If there are any bubbles in the egg mixture,  skim the bubbles by folding a piece of paper towel into a strip and then run it over the top of the egg mixture to remove the bubbles.
Set aside while you assemble the tarts.

To assemble tarts : 
1.  Grease the tart pans lightly.  Remove chilled dough, and divide into small pieces to shape to 1½ inch balls.

2.  First shape the dough balls to a 2” disks and using your two thumbs, press the disks lightly into the tart molds and comes up 1/8” higher than the sides.  Let the pastry be slightly thicker all around the rim.   Repeat until all the tart pans are filled with the crust.

Formed tart shells can be wrapped well and refrigerated well wrapped (up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month).  Thaw tart shells for 30 minutes before filling them for baking.
3.  Pre-heat oven to 450 F and put the rack to the lowest level of the oven.
4.  Pour the custard filling into the tart shells just slightly lower than the rim, do not overfill.

5.  Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes and then lower the lower the heat to 400 F for another 15 minutes. Baking time differs from the size of the tart pans, so visual monitoring is important.  The crust has to be browned and the custard should not be overcooked.  (A convection oven will really been asset to baking egg tarts, as it is so much more even).

The custard will puff slightly and that is a sign for doneness.  You might have to remove   some of the tarts which will cook faster than the rest as there will be hot spots in most ovens. If the custard puffs up and the crust is not brown enough, the oven door can be left ajar for a while to lower the temperature in the oven, then closed to finish the baking.

6.  Cool the tarts for 5 minutes, use a knife or spatula to loosen the tarts, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.  Tarts are best served while they are warm or at room temperature if preferred. 

Got myself some new tart pans at last!  Looking more like the real thing!


  1. I loved egg tarts but the one which I bought from the bakery is very rich. I tried Peng's recipe, I relly loved it, as the crust is just nice n so is the egg custard. Really loved it, yummy!

  2. I adore HK egg tarts! Yours look totally delish!

  3. Thanks Angie, I love egg tarts too. Your blog is an inspiration!