Portuguese Egg Tarts

*EDIT: So I  made these again yesterday for a friend’s birthday and changed the crust recipe because I wasn’t really satisfied with the one below and I have to say it came out a LOT better.  I HIGHLY recommend using this following really simple crust recipe with the custard filling.  It’s really good :)

1 1/4 cup flour
A bit of sugar (I just grabbed a small handful and tossed it in)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
3 tbsp chilled water

1. Combine flour, sugar and salt.  Cut in the shortening until you get a crumbly meal.

2. Slowly add water until dough JUST comes together.

3. wrap in saran wrap and  chill for at least half an hour before using.

As I mentioned in my brief bio, I was inspired to start baking by a childhood dream of owning a Chinese bakery.  The interesting thing is, I very infrequently bake Chinese pastries.  I’ve made lor mai chi and my mom’s favorite taro cake before, but I’ve always been far too intimidated by my memory of their deliciousness to even attempt to recreate these goods.  This past weekend, however, I threw caution to the wind and made Portuguese egg tarts for the first time.  You may say – but that’s not a Chinese pastry!  This is true … but a quick google search tells me that the pastel de nata (Portuguese egg tart) was brought to Macau and adopted quite heartily by the Chinese. The Chinese, particular those in nearby Hong Kong created a riff by making their own Hong Kong-style egg tarts in the 1940s. The resulting Cantonese dahn taht has become ubiquitous with Chinese bakeries and dim sum houses.  So, interestingly, the Portuguese version came first.

In any case, I’ve always feared making these because I always find the custard part too egg-y tasting, but I have to say that this recipe is a winner :)  It actually does taste like the real thing.  The original recipe didn’t use its own pastry crust, so I included my trusty sweet flaky crust recipe for you.  The feedback that I’ve gotten from my tart is that the crust was too thick, so I would probably make it thinner the next time.  But the custard came out beautifully and it was delicious :)

Portuguese Egg Tarts (makes 10 tarts)
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Ingredients for crust, made from scratch:
3 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cups milk, chilled

1. Mix together flour, sugar and salt.

2. Cut in the butter until you get a coarse meal.

3. Add milk 1/4 cup at a time until thoroughly mixed.

4. Wrap dough in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for >2 hours.

Ingredients for filling:
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of milk
3 drops of vanilla extract

*Preheat oven to 400F and butter muffin tin

1. Mix all the ingredients with an electric beater for 3 minutes.

2. Strain all the ingredients (I admit I don’t own a strainer so I didn’t do this and it was still fine)

3. Take the chilled dough and roll a little ball onto a floured surface.  Flatten the ball into a disc and place gently into the muffin tin.  If you have too much dough, just use a knife to cut off the excess dough so you get a nice tart.

4. Pour in the filling until it’s 3/4ths of the way full.

5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is browned.  It took me 20 minutes.

Enjoy! =)


One thought on “Portuguese Egg Tarts

  1. Pingback: Happy American Thanksgiving! « Bluebearrie Bakes

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