Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finally!!! A Failproof Buttery Egg Tart Recipe!

YIPPEE!!! I have managed to conquer the failure of my egg tart baking!

failproof egg tart recipe
Finally! I have baked these buttery egg tarts with NO worries!
All thanks to these... Truly Unshrinkable Sweet Tart Pastries!

Absolutely unshrinkable and amazing!

I always thought that tart pastries are NOT difficult to bake as I didn't have NO problem at all baking, this, this and this.

Until August 2013, I was experiencing a series of never-ending failing egg tart pastry baking as mentioned in this post. Due to this, I became interested to know the basics of tart pastry baking and these facts are what I have learned:

(1) Accordingly to All Recipe, the four basic ingredients of tart / pie pastry are usually flour + salt, fat and water. Most pastry recipes should work if the ratio of three parts flour, two parts fat, and one part liquid (also known as 3-2-1 dough) is used.

(2) Accordingly to All Recipe and many of my baking books, vegetable shortening doughs are easier to work with as they hold their shape better than all-butter pastry, but the flavour won't be as fragrant and nice.

(3) To minimise dough from shrinking during baking, the dough lined on the pie pan should relax in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more before baking.

(4) Blind baking by lining a tart pastry with parchment paper and filling it with pie weights can help to secure the pastry onto the baking tin.

I'm excited to find this Great Unshrinklable Sweet Tart Crust recipe by Smitten Kitchen! Interestingly, this all-butter pastry recipe uses only the basic technique of 3-2-1 dough plus freezing before baking and requires NO blind baking. Guess what? It works!!! How cool is that?! - Totally!

Apart from discovering this amazing Great Unshrinklable Sweet Tart Crust recipe, I came across another fail-proof egg tart pastry by Ellen from Cuisine Paradise. Ellen blind-baked her tart crusts first and then used them subsequently for her egg tart baking. Her pastry recipe contains slightly higher butter content but works very well for her and even her egg tart baking.

And so, I did the same...
Baking both recipes with foil and pie weights.
The foil baking method didn't work for Cuisine Paradise's pastry but the pie weights did.
See! These Smitten Kitchen's sweet tart crusts are unshrinkable!
For my curiosity, I did this to compare both recipes. Clearly, the Smitten Kitchen's shrunk the least.
Thinking that my egg tart baking might work this time but it didn't!

Although this method works for Ellen from Cuisine ParadiseI'm surprised that both pre-baked tart crusts cannot be used for egg tart baking. Clearly, blind-baking the pastry first didn't work for my egg tart baking and I don't know why...

Boy: Mummy, your egg tarts failed again!
Man: Mummy, why didn't you learn from your mistakes?

Sweetie, mummy is not giving up and I will learn from my mistakes. So, I did this...

I made these unshrinkable pastry again and freeze them.
Making the egg tart filling
I tried filling the pastry to 60% and they didn't shrink at all.
Seeing this, I become brave filling the pastry to 85% and they all work!

Adapting the concept of freezing the tart pastry before baking, I managed to fill the pastries with egg tart filling up to 85%!!! All 10 out of 10 egg tarts that I have baked are all successful!!!


For the benefit of all egg tart lovers, this is the fail proof egg tart recipe.... Yes!!! It is 100% fail proof for me!!!

buttery egg tart
A taste of success! Sweet!

Makes ten 7cm round tarts

For the pastry:
(mostly adapted from The Great Unshrinkable Sweet Tart Crust from Smitten Kitchen)
115g all-purpose flour
30g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
70g butter cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
(mostly adapted from the book, Agnes Chang's Delightful Snacks and Dim Sum by Agnes Chang and also here at Frozen Wings)
80g caster sugar
160ml boiling water
2 eggs
2/3 tsp white vinegar
Note: Colour of the filling may vary depending on the colour of the eggs used. If you are concern of your egg tarts not being yellow enough, you can use a drop of two yellow colouring but I didn't.

For the pastry:
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt together. Using a pastry blender or a food processor, cut pieces of butter into the dry ingredients to resemble coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk a little at a time, pulsing or mixing in after each addition. Knead the dough just enough to incorporate any dry ingredients. Wrap the dough in clingwrap and chill for about 2 hrs before rolling.

Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of baking paper to 3-4 mm thick. Using a round cutter to cut the pastry into shapes. Using the floured baking paper as aid, lift, transfer and mould the pastry into tart pans. Trim off excess pastry draping off the edges. Line each pastry with baking paper or baking paper cups and stack them up and place them in the freezer for 1 hour or even longer (preferably!) until ready to use.

For the filling:
Stir in sugar in boiling water until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool completely. Add eggs and vinegar and whisk slightly until combine. Pour mixture through a sieve and discard remaining egg left on the strainer. Leave it aside.

To assemble and bake:
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced. Remove the frozen pastry and pour filling up to 85-90%! Yes, I'm right! 85-90%! Bake the tarts for 25 mins or until filling is set. Please do not over-bake tarts at too high temperature or longer duration as the bubbling and puffing of filling will ruin their smooth, glossy and velvety textures and looks.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before removing them from the tart pans. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

Hope that you have a wonderful experience baking and enjoying these home-baked egg tarts at home!

Happy Baking
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  1. OMG !! I saw egg tarts the moment I hop to your blog.. I love egg tarts.. I can eat 10 (yes, 10!) at one go.. I love egg tarts from Tong Kee over here in KL..
    Ooohh, I NEVER knew egg tarts fillings have vinegar in it.. Thanks for sharing, now I know..

  2. Hi Zoe,
    I salute you for always comparing various recipes until you obtain the one that suits you the most! Your egg tart looks marvelous! I have been thinking of making some too, but the daughter is not feeling well right not, so have to postpone to later. She loves eating egg tarts.
    Meanwhile, I'll just drool over yours first!

  3. Woah , I've just finished baking mine lol I tried Christine's ( Christine's recipes ) recipe but modified the crust and it looks a bit crumbly :D Have you seen Jeannie's gorgeous egg tarts ?! I think I'll try her recipe next time lol

  4. Wow..these look fabulous, Zoe. Much better than those I see at local bakeries! I am inspired by your persistence ^.^

  5. Aii...I was thinking about egg tarts recently and there you are....making egg tarts to stop my craving. I don't know I should say stop my craving or digging in more to my craving. I love your last I love that filling...

  6. Your egg tart looks so delectable.. Very nicely done.. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Zoe, I can feel your excitement! I have yet to dabble with tarts and pies and if I do get motivated, I'll come back to this post!

  8. You are so patient and curious :) I would have given up after first time I guess :)

  9. I love egg tarts too! Thought of making again after seeing yours :)

  10. Hi Zoe

    I read lots of technical skills and details here. My dad has been asking me to bake some egg tarts..and I shake my head.haha

    Glad to see you have these beautiful egg tarts out from the oven were brilliant.

  11. can i order tart shells from "chooo" ^^

  12. Have you tried Lena's recipe. Hers is easy and nice. I am torn between this and portuguese egg tart now. haiz.

  13. Hi Zoe! Lovely egg tarts, besides tasting delicious, they look sunny and cheery :)

  14. OMG Egg tart! One of the Hong Kong favourite local foods :)

  15. Wow, these turned out beautifully Zoe! I love eggtarts but have never tried making them at home since I am always afraid they don't turn out. You did an amazing job and so glad you found a great recipe - would love to try making these one day when I get the courage :)

  16. Zoe,I am definitely bookmarking this. Your lucky boy gets to eat all your delicious egg tarts, I'm jealous :)

  17. Wow, now that was really quite informative! Thank you Zoe for those wonderful sharing of experiences. Smitten Kitchen is indeed a wonderful site. I have never tried baking these kind egg tarts, but now you have inspired me to try them out soon!

  18. Looks delicious although my sons would complain too stingy on the filling lol! Love the texture of the filling…next time I'll try this pastry recipe:D

  19. Terrific post! I always love your experiments -- you're so thorough. Definitely will put your egg tart recipe on the"must try" list! Thanks.

  20. Carinissimi e perfetti questi contenitori di pasta frolla!!
    Deliziosi ripieni di crema...
    Che bontàààà!!
    Brava e complimenti per tutto..
    Un abbraccio forte .
    Ah!! grazie di essere passata..mi fa piacere.
    Baci .

  21. U narrated the making of egg tarts very beautifully.....and the tarts looks so fantastic and fabulous...drooling over it dear.....Thanx for sharing :)

  22. Wow, I definitely want this now. SO good!

  23. Me too found that the chilled tart crust work very well in making egg tarts. I never knew can chill/keep shaped tart crust by stacking by separated with baking paper or baking paper cups. Definitely save fridge space. Thanks for the tip! You making me feel like making some tarts too.

  24. This is so cool. All that research and hard work! Thanks for posting your super results :-) The tarts look great.

  25. Hi Zoe , love egg tarts , after seeing yours make me want to try again . Thanks for sharing :)

  26. These are one of the most perfect egg tarts I have ever seen. Flawless!

  27. your egg tarts look real yummy. Thanks for sharing all the tips and information.
    Ade- SG

  28. Zoe, I have made tart crusts for a long time with the 'blind baking' and 'weights' method, but you are the only food blogger that went through so much trouble to show the difference and comparisons...end result?...a beautiful and perfect little egg tarts; so amazing and totally super delicious! Great photo demonstration! xo

  29. Hi Zoe. These egg tarts are so special. One of my 2014 resolution is to make all kinds of tart and egg tart is on the top list. Will definitely refer to your all blogs on egg tarts for tips.

  30. Indeed a lovely egg tarts. My family favourite. Thanks for letting us know that it is very easy to make. All these while, I only use puff pastry because I scare of failure. ha ha ha. Thumbs up to you.

  31. I simply love reading your analysis! Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

  32. wow... what a great experienced & thanks so much for sharing it. Saving us lots of time for trying out any other pastry crust recipe.

  33. This looks amazing! Sweet success're so cute. I will keep this recipe for sure.

  34. hi, a nice write up and first of all thanks for sharing. I really appreciate bloggers who take the trouble to share their trials and tribulations. This is not meant as criticism but if we all want to learn further and together, this is part and parcel of interaction. Your finally good tarts looks very good BUT I visually from what I can see, it is not 85 - 90% custard ratio more like 70%, as it looks like the height is two thirds of the pastry shell. May I also ask when the it was baking in the oven, did the custard rise substantially and then sink when cooled or did the height of the custard remain constant which in this case, would actually encourage us to fill the custard just slightly below the rim of the pastry shell ? Once again, thank you. Best wishes. Bee

  35. Hi Bee,

    Nice to hear from you and your valuable opinions.

    Due to my numerous failure of egg tart baking, I must admit that I was afraid to fill the pastry with more than 85% egg tart filling. Seeing the rim of these tarts, I'm sure the pastry can be filled with up to 95% of egg tart filling. And of course, the increase of filling in these tarts will produce tarts with higher proportion of egg tart filling.

    To answer your question further, egg tart filling should not rise during baking. If it happens, it means that you have over cooked the filling and the surface won't be smooth and silky. If you look at the close up picture of the tart, you can see that a very slight amount of filling has been absorbed into the contact area between the pastry and filling and that's why the tarts look like that they have been shrunk but they are not.

    I hope that you have great fun and success baking these beautiful egg tarts. Happy Baking.


    1. thanks for the reply Zoe. Most recipes do not have that bit of vinegar, do you know what the vinegar does please ? Bestregards, Bee

    2. Hi Bee,

      I have noticed that different egg tart recipes contain different proportion of eggs and other liquids and of course, some contain more eggs and some contain lesser. I have tried several and like this recipe the most. To be honest, I don't really know the actual scientific reaction between the vinegar and the eggs and all I know the addition of vinegar in this composition helps the eggs to set better. Cheers!


  36. how to keep the egg tart if not consume in same day? how many days can keep?


    1. Hi Tracy,

      These tarts are best to be consumed within the same day of bake. On the next day, the pastry will deteriorate. To avoid that, I would suggest to bake just the amount that you would want to consume on the same day. Cheers!


    2. Wonderful recipe. I am a big fan of egg tarts and a beginner in baking. The egg tarts turned out sooo good. Thank you for giving me a confidence boost in baking with your indeed fail proof recipe.