When I met up with fellow blogger pal Sherlyn to pass her some books which my children have outgrown, she was so kind to give me a batch of her freshly baked egg tarts. I was very touched and was totally intrigued by her cute mini egg tarts. You need a pair of very skilled hands to be able to bake something so exquisite and delectable! Her homemade goodies were so well received by my family that I was inspired to try my hands at making some myself.
I made my first batch of egg tarts using this popular egg tart recipe by heimama (黑妈妈祖传蛋挞). Many thanks to Angel of Cook.Bake.Love who shared her experience in baking those easy and delicious egg tarts in her blog post.
As I wasn't sure whether I would be successful in my first attempt at making the egg tarts, I omitted the custard powder that is called for in making the crust. Nevertheless, my first batch of egg tarts were a breeze to make and they turned out to be really good. This prompted me to get a pack of custard powder right away since I know I would be making these egg tarts again and again! The custard powder did wonders to the texture of the pastry crust. The pastry was more crisp (酥) and gave a melt in the mouth texture to the already very buttery and flaky crust. So, do include the custard powder if you are interested to make these egg tarts, or at least, substitute it with corn flour.
Making and baking the tarts was easy...the only problem I had was unmolding. I had made sure the pastry was above the rim of the mould and took extra care not to fill the crust with too much custard filling. I had also greased all the moulds with butter and so I would expect the tarts to release easily simply by inverting them. To my surprise, the tarts were all stuck to the moulds. I tried 'shaking' one of them, hoping the tart would fall off, but it refused to budge. The original recipe says to give the tart a gentle knock to release it, but it didn't work when I tried knocking it against the table top. Maybe I was too gentle as I have this fear of breaking the tart into pieces. In the end, I tried tapping the base of the tart mould with a spoon, and voila, the tart dropped off from the mould. Just a whack or two will do the trick, lol! (Updated as at 29 March: As advised by Angel, I baked another batch of egg tarts without greasing the moulds. After baking and once cooled, I tapped the tart mould against the table top, then inverted it and the tart released from the mould easily.)
This recipe is certainly a keeper. It is very straight forward as there is no unnecessary steps to pre-bake the crust. The custard filling didn't bubble up too much or burst even without adjusting or lowering the oven temperature during baking. I wasn't sure how to test the doneness since there was no instructions on this. I followed this method of inserting a toothpick into the custard, if it stands on its own, it’s done. I had also baked the tarts for another minute longer so that the crusts were lightly browned on the rim. Compared to other egg tart recipes, this heimama egg tarts use a lot less sugar for the pastry crust. As such, do not expect the crust to turn golden browned upon baking.
The wobbly filling was not too sweet nor taste eggy. It had a smooth and silky texture just like what many other bloggers have raved about. They were close or rather, even better than store bought ones. My elder child who loves egg tarts devoured half the batch and still looked forward to more. With this good experience and knowledge I have gained from baking these egg tarts, I am more confident to try other egg tart recipes. Next on my to-do list will be coconut tarts, do give me your recommendations if you have tried any good coconut tarts recipe :)
Egg Tarts （黑妈妈祖传蛋挞）
(makes 10, tart mould size: 7cm diameter)
for the crust:
150g plain flour
1 tablespoon custard powder
1 tablespoon milk powder
100g butter, cold, cut into cubes
½ tablespoon caster sugar
½ large egg (about 25-30g), beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
for the custard filling:
55g sugar (I used granulated sugar)
1½ large eggs, beaten
40g evaporated milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
for the custard filling:
- Boil water and sugar till sugar dissolved. Let cool completely. Add beaten egg, evaporated milk and vanilla extract and mix well. Sieve 3 times. Set aside.
- Sieve flour, custard powder and milk powder into a mixing bowl. Place cold, diced butter into mixing bowl. With a fork or a dough scraper, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add in sugar, mix well. Make a well in the centre and add beaten eggs and vanilla extract (if using). Mix with hand until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough. (Note: do not over mix or knead the dough as it may cause gluten to develop and the crust may become tough and hard upon baking). Pat the dough into a round ball and flatten it to form a disc (Wrap with cling wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins before use.
Lightly grease each tart mould with butter.(Updated as at 29 March '14, it is not necessary to grease the tart moulds).
- When ready to use, divide the dough into 10 portion (about 29~30g each). For each portion, roll dough into a ball, flatten to form a small disc and place into the tart mould. Press dough into the mould until the dough comes up to slightly above the rim. (Note: I hold the mould with both hands, then press the dough into the mould using my two thumbs while at the same time turning the mould with my other fingers in a clock wise direction, going round and round until the dough is evenly moulded to the tart mould.) Smooth the edges at the rim with fingertips to make it even.
- Fill each tart with the fillings to 80~90% full or till it comes just below the rim. Bake in middle rack in preheated oven at 180 degC for 20 mins. Leave to cool on cooling rack. To unmould,
invert the mould on your palm and tap the base of the mould with a spoon. The tart should release and drop onto your palmtap/knock the mould on table table for a few times, invert the mould on your palm and the tart should release and drop onto your palm. Place a paper liner on the base of the tart (optionally) and invert it back.
- Egg tarts are best freshly baked. Any left overs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm them in the oven and they will taste as good as freshly baked ones.