Chinese Egg Tarts
This popular dessert features a creamy silky egg custard that is baked in a crispy, buttery puff pastry shell.
- Author: Lily Ernst
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 9-12
- Category: dessert, breakfast
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and refrigerated
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (80g) white sugar
- 2/3 cup (150g) hot water
- 1/3 cup (75g) evaporated milk
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 9–12 foil tart tins (approx. 3″ in diameter and 1″ deep is best)
- Preheat oven to 400F and position rack in lower third of oven.
- Completely dissolve the sugar in the hot water and set aside to cool.
- Roll out the pastry dough to 12 x 12 inches or 14 x 14 inches and cut out 9-12 circles using a 4 inch cookie cutter. Fit the pastry circles into the foil tart tins and place on baking sheet.
- Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar water together. Stir in the room temperature sugar solution. Strain the egg mixture into a large measuring cup through a fine sieve. Carefully pour into tart shells, filling to just below the rim.
- Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. Please keep an eye on the tarts as they are baking. As soon as the custard starts to puff, you need to open the oven door 2-3 inches to prevent the filling from puffing up too much and collapsing when cooled.
- Once the edges start to brown, reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the custard is done. You can test the filling by inserting a toothpick into the custard, if it can stand on its own, it’s done.
Egg tarts are best enjoyed the day of. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in the oven at 350F for 5-10 minutes to warm up and crisp up the pastry.
- Working with store-bought puff pastry – The size and thickness will vary from brand to brand. So depending on the size and thickness of your puff pastry, you can either roll it out to 12×12″, yielding 9 tarts, or roll it out to 14×14″, yielding 12 tarts.
- Making the filling – Completely dissolve the sugar in hot water to ensure a uniform solution before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients. Then filter the filling mixture through a fine sieve to remove any bubbles or lumps for a perfectly smooth and silky custard.
- Baking in the lower third of the oven – Baking the tarts closer to the lower elements of the oven will help cook and brown the bottom of the tart to prevent a soggy base.
- Baking the egg tarts – Baking the tarts at the initial high temperature will also help brown and crisp up the pastry shell and then you lower the temperature to finish cooking the custard.
- If the custard starts to puff up in the oven – Open the oven door 2-3″ to prevent the custard from expanding too much and collapsing when cooled.
- If using a muffin pan instead of tart tins – Please note that a muffin pan is much deeper and you won’t get that signature edge around the tart, but it does work if you don’t have any other options. Just make sure to grease the muffin pan for easy removal AND do not fill the pastry shell any higher than 1cm from the top. This way if the pastry shrinks in the oven, the filling won’t spill over and stick to the pan.
Keywords: egg tart recipe, Chinese egg tarts, Hong Kong style egg tarts