The Hong Kong egg tart is a well loved and staple of any Chinese bakery or dim sum menu. After many many attempts to get the perfect recipe, I think that I have finally found it! These are my Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts!
There are two kinds of egg tart you might be familiar with and the difference is the pastry. One kind is a flaky buttery pastry style which melts in the mouth and the other kind has a shortcrust cookie style pastry and it is the latter which I am sharing with you today. The pastry is enriched with icing sugar and has a higher fat content than a basic shortcrust pastry. Because of this, it is hard to roll out and cut out with a pastry cutter so the method to line the tart tins is to portion out the pastry and press it into the tart tin. This method is quite hard to explain in words so make sure to check out my Youtube video below to see the method of lining the tins.
The tart tins I use are individual 6cm deep fluted tart tins. I bought these from Hong Kong but they can be found on online retailers too. I end up using about 42g of pastry for each tart tin and this allows for some of the pastry to come above the tin so the tarts can hold more filling and it also makes it easier to remove the tarts.
Make sure to check out my other Chinese recipes too!
For the pastry:
- 200g plain flour
- 60g icing sugar
- 120g margarine
- 3 – 4 tsp whole milk
For the custard filling:
- 50g sugar
- 150ml water
- 125ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Yellow gel food colouring, optional
First prepare the sugar syrup for the custard filling so that it can cool down. Heat the sugar and water over a medium-high heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Once boiling, allow to boil for a further minute before removing from the heat to cool completely.
For the pastry, in the bowl of a food processor, place the plain flour, icing sugar and the margarine until the fat is completely incorporated and the mixture begins to clump together. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and add in the milk, using your hand to bring the pastry together into moist crumbs.
On a lightly floured surface, turn out the pastry and bring it together with your hands into a ball of dough. Cover the pastry in clingfilm and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.
Weigh out the pastry and divide the pastry into 9 equal pieces, rolling into balls. Press each ball into 9 6cm individual tart tins, using your thumb to work the pastry up the tin, rotating the tin as you press the pastry in. Make sure that the pastry fits the tart tin well. Repeat for all the pastry cases and then place the tart tins into the freezer for 20 minutes.
While the pastry is chilling, finish preparing the filling. Add the milk and vanilla extract to the sugar syrup and stir to incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well mixed. Gradually add the milk mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Add in the yellow food colouring if you are using. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Pour the egg custard mixture into the tart tins about 80% full. Carefully transfer the tray into the oven and bake the egg tarts for around 25 minutes. When the pastry has turned golden at the top, turn down the temperature to 160˚C and continue to bake the tarts until the very centre of the tarts wobble when you shake the tray.
Remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool fully in the tart tins before lifting out and turning out onto a plate. Serve them at room temperature or as fresh as possible!
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