Egg Custard Tart

As I mentioned before, I'm not a baker and I prefer savory than sweet.  However, ever once in awhile I like to try my hands at baking.  So this time I thought I would go back to basics and make one of the most popular Chinese dessert recipes.  A dear friend of mine has given me some Chinese cookbooks as I thumbed through these books to get recipe ideas,  I found this one by Ellen Leong Blonder.  This recipe is really easy and it takes no time to make.  I did make some changes to the recipe.  For the tart crust, I substitute lard with butter.  I also added some lime zest and nutmeg to the topping of the tart to give it a more distinct flavor.

Egg Custard Tart inspired by Ellen Leong Blonder

Tart Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp of sugar
6 tbsp of butter (cubed and keep cold)
1/4 cup of ice water, plus a few teaspoons if needed

Egg custard filling
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 tspn of vanilla extract
Grated nutmeg
Grated lime zest

Preparing the crust:
When I read the recipe, it reminded me of the tart dough I made in my baking classes.  It was drilled into my head that when making tart crust to be sure to work fast and keep the butter cold.  So after I cubed my butter, I put it in the fridge to keep cold.  Furthermore, put the mixing bowl in the fridge so when it's ready to put the ingredients together, it'll stay cold.  Sift the flour and sugar together in the cold mixing bowl.  Then add the cold butter.  Mix the ingredients with a standing mixer and mix in slow speed.  Then slowly add the ice water.  Once the dough starts to gather, take it out and roll it into a ball.  Try to spend as less time as possible to roll the dough with your hands, as the heat of your hand could warm the butter in the dough.  Then flatten it out, wrap with plastic and put in the fridge.  Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably two hours.

After the dough is rested, flour the working surface and rolling pin.  Roll the dough out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.   You'll see the small pieces of butter in the dough which makes the pie crust flaky.  Gently place it onto your tart tins.   According to the original recipe, she used twelve 3 1/4 inch tart tins.  Since I only had 4 x 1 inch tart tins, I was only able to spread my dough onto 5 tins.  Press the dough lightly into the tin, then refrigerate until the filling is made.

Preparing the custard:
Whisk all ingredients except the nutmeg and zest, let stand 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  After 15 minutes, Skim off any bubbles on the custard surface.  Then pour mixture evenly to each tart.  Grate the nutmeg on the top and bake tarts for 30-35 minutes.

After the tarts are baked, let it cool for at least 5 minutes before taking them out of the tart tins.  Transfer to a cooling rack then grate lime zest on top and serve at room temperature.

These egg custard tarts are not too sweet but really satisfy your sweet tooth.  The tart crust is light, buttery and flaky.  You can really taste the eggs in the custard even though there are only two eggs.  The lime zest gives a light citrus flavor which balances really well with the sweet nutmeg.  So if you are a egg custard tart lover, hope you'll try this lighter and easier version.

7 comments:

  1. I love desserts. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will surely try this out.

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  2. your tart looks lovely. the grated lime zest is an excellent contrast.

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  3. Thanks Collin and Jana for your comments, really appreciate them!

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  4. Great recipe. I wonder if fruit would go well with this.

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  5. Hi Joy, yes, maybe a compote or a fruit sauce would go well with the egg custard. Haven't try it since the egg custard tart I grew up eating don't have any fruit, but good idea!

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  6. I love Ellen Leong Blonder! I have her Dim Sum cookbook, and she's commented on my blog before, haha. She's really nice :)

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  7. Yes, that's the book I have! That's awesome she had commented on your blog. I would love for her to comment on mine.

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