Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chinese Egg Tarts (Tan Tarts)

My first attempt at making Chinese baked goods. I've started leaning towards branching out in that area and I would love to know how to make those coconut-filled cocktail buns with the pillowy soft bun and the sweet, creamy coconut filling. I also want to try making those Asian birthday cakes, you know, the ones with fresh fruit and whipped cream, airy and not too sweet. If anyone has any recipes to recommend for either of these items or any other Chinese pastry, send them my way please!

So, back to the egg tarts (tan tarts)... My first attempt at these was yesterday using a mish-mash of online recipes. The egg-custard filling was pretty good and close to the 'real thing' once it had cooled to room temperature, but the pastry was all wrong. When I was making it (creaming the butter and sugar to make the pastry) my instincts told me "I shouldn't be creaming this" but I followed the recipe anyway. I tried again today with the leftover filling, but this time I used my own flaky pie crust recipe and the results were much better. I think that by letting the uncooked egg filling sit overnight it probably enhanced the flavor and texture too. I think in Asia they bake using all weight measurements so this is why the recipe is in grams. The photo is from my firat attempt, so please ignore the ugly pastry.

Chinese Egg Tarts
Makes 14 (standard muffin tin)

1 recipe double-crust basic pastry

3 eggs
110 gm icing sugar
225 gm hot water
85 gm evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Filling: Add sugar into hot water, mix until completely dissolved and let cool. Whisk egg with evaporated milk. Pour into cooled sugar water. Mix well. Strain egg mixture to remove foam or simply skim foam off the top.
2. Refrigerate egg mixture overnight. Don't skip this step!
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Using prepared pie crust dough - the same as you would use for apple pie (recipe not given here), shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and press the balls into tart molds/muffin tins so that it covers the bottom, and goes up the sides as high as you can get it without the pastry becoming too thin.
5. Carefully pour egg mixture into each unbaked tart shell.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown and the filling is puffed up a little bit. IYou might need to watch and adjust the oven temperature as I did. When a toothpick is inserted and it doesn't fall over, they are ready. Cool for 5 minutes before unmolding then cool to room temperature before eating.


eatme_delicious said...

Your tarts look beautiful! Mmm I love coconut buns though I'm not sure I'd want to know how to make them because then I'd eat way too many. It's nice to meet a fellow Vancouver food blogger! As for the Canadian Living Baking book - yes it's good and I'd recommend it. Though if you don't have Dorie Greenspan's Baking, I'd get that first. (I think you do though since you've been participating in TWD.)

Liv said...

Hi, I realise that this is an old post but I thought you might be interested in this recipe and it's comments following on from where you mentioned you were interested in Asian baking. The cook Poh (Masterchef Australia finalist)mentions that it is very popular in Malaysia even though it is a Californian recipe.