Growing up in Hong Kong – Or as wikipedia calls it “the world’s fair of food” – I have been utterly spoilt with great food. From the classic traditional Chinese regional cuisines (Sichuan, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Beijing..) to international cuisines (Italian, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Thai), you can literally find the best of the best everywhere in Hong Kong. I wouldn’t say I’m a picky eater, but I definitely know what “gourmet” food tastes like! And yes, I’m definitely advertising Hong Kong as the place to visit for foodies!
Due to Hong Kong’s rich history with Britain and Portuguese influences, there is a whole separate menu or “cuisine” of Western-inspired Hong Kong food. Yes, there is a never ending list of food! In the 1940s, the Portuguese introduced the “english custard pie” to us, which then evolved over time into the delicious traditional pastry delicacy : “Dan Tat” Or Hong Kong Egg Tarts. It is a buttery cookie tart shell filled with sweet egg custard. There is even stores that ONLY sell egg tarts because it is so much in demand!
I love egg tarts. For those of who who’ve never had it before, let me attempt to paint a picture for you. Its literally like custard, or creme brûlée with an amazing buttery crust. Its usually served warm, so the center is still creamy and moist. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.
Luckily Zoe and I have a final project that involves a “creative” presentation on the things that we have learnt. What better way to be creative than to cook? Honestly, I was more worried about the food we would be presenting than the actual content of our presentation. We wanted our class to have a taste of Hong Kong so we decided to make the oh-so-famous Egg Tarts – But even better we made it Grain-Free, GF, Paleo and Dairy Free! And just to make it extra special we added our own special touch to it just so that it would be ours only: maple-coconut flavored egg custard. Mmm… doesn’t that sound exotic and fabulous?
So for the 2 of us we had the most “productive” homework session we ever had…yup because it was cooking. Now if only we could do that everyday… It was definitely the first time I ever felt doing homework was actually Fun!
We did run into a few problems (like forgetting that these were baking in the ovens, don’t even ask how that was possible to forget these beauties!). We were really disappointed but after waiting for it cool down and putting in the fridge, it STILL tasted heavenly. Our first bite into it and we both just stared at each other shocked…this tasted so good…i mean.. absolutely amazing. It definitely isn’t an exact replicate of the authentic egg custard tart, but these were way GOOD!
The verdict: It was absolutely finger-licking, mouthwateringly delicious (pretty sure this is not an actual word)!
And this fabulous recipe is dedicated to Jasmine (our cousin) who requested this recipe =)
We hope you try this recipe and bring a little bit of Hong Kong into your kitchen!
Bonus: The great thing about this is that, whenever you try to make whipped cream and all you need is the coconut cream from the top of the can – what do you do with the leftover coconut water? Well this is the solution to your problems! Make Egg Tarts! It works beautifully!
Ingredients – Makes 32 Egg Tarts
- 2 x The Best Grain Free Pie Crust (GF, DF)
Filling: (Adapted from Woksoflife)
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup Full-fat coconut milk
- Garnish: toasted coconut flakes
How to Make:
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (this will not only make cleaning easier, but will create that beautiful tart-shell pattern).
- Mix together all the ingredients for the crust. Divide the dough into 32 portions.
- Place one portion of the dough into the center of a cupcake liner.
- Using your fingers press the dough from the middle to create a nice tart shell. This can be a little tedious, but the easiest way is to press from the middle, then outwards. Make sure the bottom and the sides are not too thin. The dough should be enough to only make it halfway up the side of the cupcake liners.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, make your filling. Whisk eggs and milk together.
- Next add in the vanilla and maple syrup. Set aside in the fridge whilst you are waiting.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Divide the filling evenly amongst the tarts. The filling should just reach the top of the tarts but should not overflow! You may find that you have more filling than you need!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The sides should be slightly golden brown and middle will be a little puffy.
- Set aside to cool. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top. Refrigerate for 2 hours at least so the tarts are cold. Enjoy!
Brûlée Top: Sprinkle coconut sugar on the egg tarts, and broil in the oven for a few minutes till golden brown! Be careful not to burn the sugar!
Maple Syrup Substitute: you can use agave or honey, but the flavor will be slightly different depending on your choice sweetener. Maple gives it a “toffee”, “caramel” flavor.
Zoe & Mia
(This post is featured on: Allergy Free Thursdays, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Blooms Designs Online, The Better Baker, Annies Noms, DIY-Vintage-Chic, Crafty Frenzy Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Inspire Me Mondays, Making My Home Sing Mondays and Sunday Fitness & Food, Motivate Me Mondays, Busy Monday 219, Wednesday Round Up)