I love Dim Sum and would love to go 'Yum Cha' which is our term for having a meal in the Dim Sum Restaurant, in any cities i visit. Egg Tarts are one of the favorites to order. The Egg Tarts served in most Dim Sum Restaurants are made with flaky pastry and they are so well baked with perfection, the pastry so light and flaky, the custard is smooth and sweet.. I have tried baking them but found it very challenging. Have not been happy with my results and am still trying. And, until i make some good flaky pastry egg tarts, these Hong Kong Egg Tarts which has shortcrust pastry, were accepted with glee by Renee, she ate these in Hong Kong and loved them.
8 ozs all-purpose flour
2 ozs powdered/confectioner's sugar
a pinch of salt
4 1/2 ozs chilled butter - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 ozs fine granulated sugar (take away 1 tbsp for lesser sweetness)
225 ml hot water
3 fl ozs evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops of yellow yolk food coloring
To Make The Crust:
Put all-purpose flour, powdered sugar and salt into the food processor and pulse to mix.
Add in chilled cubed butter and pulse until fine breadcrumb like.
Add vanilla extract to beaten egg and then add into flour mixture with the machine running and stop machine as soon as the dough is formed. Do not overmixed.
Remove and wrap dough with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
To Make the Filling:
Put sugar and water in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 to 1/2 minutes and stir until sugar dissolves.
Add in evaporated milk, food coloring and vainlla, stir well.
Beat eggs lightly and add in to the above.
Pass through a very fine sieve, then fold a piece of kitchen towel into a strip and then run it over the top of the egg mixture to remove the bubbles.
Leave aside while you prepare the tarts.
To prepare the tarts:
Grease the tart moulds lightly.
Remove chilled dough, knead lightly and divide into small pieces(for my tart moulds, i use 3/4 oz).
Form dough into a tiny disk that will fit the base of the mould, then using the thumb, press dough so that it comes up the side of the mould. Dough can be slightly higher than the mould but not too much - higher will allow more room for more filling but if too high, it will form a lip as this dough recipe is very soft.)
Repeat until all the tart moulds are formed. Formed tart moulds can be kept in the fridge well wrapped until you need to bake them.
Preheat oven to 450 f and put the rack to the lowest rung of the oven.(Friends at sea-level can bake @ 400f)
Fill the formed tart moulds with egg filling to slightly lower than the rim, do not overfill.
Bake @ 450f for 10 mins and then lower the lower the heat to 400 f(sea-level @ 375 f) for another 15 minutes. Baking time differs from the size of the tart moulds, so visual monitoring is important. The crust has to be browned and the custard should not be overcooked. The custard will puff slightly - yes slightly, then it is a sign for doneness, you might have to remove some of the tarts which will cook faster than the rest as there are hot spots in most oven. If the custard puffs up and the crust is not brown enough, the oven door can be opened and left ajar for a while to lower the temperature in the oven, then it can be closed to finish the baking)
Good luck and enjoy.