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SHF #5 - Hundreds and Hundreds of Layers: Layering the Tradition

It's here again! This time around, SHF#5 is hosted by A La Cuisine!. When I saw that the theme was "puff pastry", I immediately hope that store-bought versions of the challenging pastry would be allowed. Phew! And it was. That, definitely made my life and SHF#5 more possible. I had contemplated on making my own, just for a wee while, but in view of the Chinese New Year festive season, I barely had any time to do so. So I used the easy way out.

Egg tarts are usually found in Hong Kong dim sum carts and traditionally, shortcrust pastry has always used as the "cup" base to hold the custard-y goodness. Of course, creative entrepreneuers started introducing different types of crust/bases and the Portuguese version was born. The Portugese egg tart has a puff pastry crust, which I like, and a really broiled-looking topping, vastly different from Hong Kong style, which is smooth and shiny on top, like the one I had in Chinatown. So I thought, why not combine a bit of both - Portuguese puff pastry base and a shiny Hong Kong topping?

I googled for a tried-and-tested recipe and found this. It looked authentic enough to garner a try. Anyway, I adapted the recipe and posted below is my version, marking my first attempt at making gg tarts.

Perhaps it's the replacement using regular milk instead of evaporated milk, or perhaps it's the use of a higher oven temperature than the original recipe called for, but in any case, the egg filling puffed up while baking and collapsed when cooled, leaving a crumply looking topping, not unlike the Portuguese version. The egg tart turned out great though, as the filling is very soft and custard-y, without too strong an egg-y smell to it. I would not change a thing in future, but perhaps broil the top for a while to brown it further.

Oh on the same note, the thing I love about SHF is that I have an excuse to try out new recipes!

Puffy Egg Tarts

250 grams package of puff pastry, rolled to 3mm thickness, divided into 12 portions

- 3 eggs, light beaten
- 80 grams granulated sugar
- 240 ml water
- 40 ml milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Set aside to cool.
When the syrup has cool, add in beaten eggs, evaporated milk and vanilla essence. Mix well.

To prepare egg tarts:
Divide pastry dough into 12 portions. Press each portion evenly into greased tart mould, which I used muffin tins. Trim the edge to remove excessive dough.

Fill in egg mixture to about 90% full. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degC for 25 minutes.
Leave the tarts in moulds for 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.


Nic said…
Looks good - I love custard tarts.
By the way, since I don't see an e-mail contact, I'm tagging you for the music meme that's making the rounds:

I think your blog is great, by the way!
Clement said…
Hi Mia - that looks great! I'm a big fan of both Chinese egg tarts and puff pastry, so your recipe sounds perfect to me. Thanks so much for taking part in SHF 5.
Daffy said…
Hi! I had the same puffed up problem with egg tarts before! but I went ahead and made them even more puffy and brown, turned out quite... interesting =)
u can see the photos at
Lynn said…
Hi Mia, I made eggtart too for SHF, the Portugese version. And funny enough, the second time I did it, the filling didn't puff up or burn on top, so I had the HK version instead.

This is what happened on the second time: the tart filling had been sitting in the fridge for one night, so the temp was low. I suspect that's why. Maybe you can try it to achieve the HK smooth-top effect.

Like you blog, by the way.
galinusa said…
Thanks for all the feedback.

The leftovers the following day achieved the once-desired smooth and shiny top, albeit a few cracks here and there. I really do think it is the high temperature. Perhaps I should try to lower the temperature a little the next time round and we shall see if that solves the puffing-up and cracking problem.
keiko said…
Hi Mia - your site is beautiful and your pastry is so pretty! I look forward to your coming posts.
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