Egg tarts

24 Jan

I find it too easy to love egg tarts. The flaky, light buttery pastry encasing a smooth silky egg custard. Done right, they are heaven in about two bites.

I don’t remember my first one in China, but I knew I would like them. Some bakeries keep them in a warmer, so they are delicious and warm to bite into. Others you eat cold, and they are almost just as good. Having just returned to Beijing from Hong Kong last weekend, I also got to try lots of delicious eggy custards with both flaky puff pastry and shortcrust pastry. Apparently they originated down in Hong Kong and are seen often on yum cha menus – we had some when we had yum cha dim sum at Maxim’s (picture below). One bakery I saw sold coconut and egg white tarts for $HK4. The Peninsula Hotel’s egg tarts (picture above) were small yet divine.

I’ve tried versions made with puff pastry and shortcrust pastry, and have read that food purists like the ones made with puff pastry better. At a university dining hall near my work, a bakery stall sells small egg tarts for 2.5rmb, made with puff pastry, and large ones for 4rmb with shortcrust. The large ones are divine, the pastry is crumbly and there’s more egg custard than pastry, a ratio that doesn’t always occur in the smaller variety.

Even the egg tarts from my local Wu Mart are hen hao chi (very delicious), and you wouldn’t always say that about things from supermarket bakeries back home! Even KFC sells them!

I always go for the ones that have a little more brown burnt custard on the top. I’m not sure why – and maybe I go for the ones that others would leave behind. I like the look of them and knowing they’ve had a good dose of flame. They also look a little more like Portuguese tarts that way as well. Luckily there’s a Bread Talk in Chinatown in Sydney…I may just be addicted to these little sweeties.

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4 Responses to “Egg tarts”

  1. Wayne Purcell February 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    One of the constants of my travels around China has been checking out each bakery I walk passed. Lately, it has been a bit more specific, seeking out egg tarts. I love them, but I think I prefer the short-crust, although there seems to be less of those. They don’t seem to be so popular out in central China and I was forced to pay 7RMB each for them at KFC in Xi’an. I thought you might be interested in checking out a small little window shop on either Xi’anmean Dajie or Wenjin Dajie (they run each other), north side of the road, about 100-200m west of Beihai Park and the National Library of Ancient Books. The little window is next door to another bakery. But, the little window shop offers up egg tarts for only 1RMB!!!! They were great, too! We stuff up and only ordered 2 (we weren’t hungry) and walked away before trying.

    • thehungrytravellers March 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up Wayne! Must be nice to only pay 1rmb when KFC is 7rmb. I will make it my “duty” to try all suggestions. And next time you’re in Beijing let me know cos I know a great place to get shortcrust ones.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel « thehungrytravellers - January 26, 2011

    […] the macaroons were crispy on the outside and had beautiful sticky fillings inside. Of course the egg tarts were good – we were in Hong Kong! We sat there until we’d had the waiters refill our […]

  2. Jin Ding Xuan « thehungrytravellers - March 28, 2011

    […] soup (which has mushrooms and tasty gnocchi-type noodles). And of course we get the flaky, light egg tarts, the first things to arrive. So the meal started backwards in a way. I’ve read some reviews […]

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