Portuguese Egg Tarts

Portuguese egg tarts emerge from the oven!

Tonight was our first dragonboat social after the roster was finalized. Super exciting!! We all gathered at one of the other asscaps (assistant captains) house and ate. Ate. Ate. Oh, and there was black ops, and kung fu movies as well. 


Just in case you're not too sure what dragonboat is/looks like. Here's a little tidbit:
(Left: Photo courtesy of Kevin Huynh) This is what a winning team looks like! YAY hard work!  (Right) Docking the dragonboat to prep for the next race.

Making the pastry: Flour + Salt + Ice Water.

A few friends and I have been trying to find time to bake Portuguese egg tarts for a while now. Finally, the day has come! 

(Left) Old school, with a wooden dowel/rolling pin. (Right) Left my rolling pin at Massey's, forced to try a pasta machine.

It’s been half a year now since our crew was competing in Macau, and had the BEST egg tarts from Lord Stow’s! Averill had found a recipe, Rachella had found videos. And I was a stoked giddy little girl. Haha 

Portuguese egg tarts are quite different than Chinese egg tarts as the former has flour, lemon, and cinnamon in its custard. The latter however, derives its fresh custard from purely eggs, milk, and sugar. The pastry crust is different as well where the Portuguese version has a very flaky, crisp, toasted crust and the Chinese version usually, but not always uses a pie (lard/shortening-based) crust (they do use flakey crusts as well). 
Also, with Portuguese egg tarts, you broil them to get that caramelization of the top.

(Left) Butter spread. (Top) Butter/Margarine mix. (Bottom) Thin sheets of pastry.

The pastry was pretty challenging to make because of the “complex” process. It really doesn’t look that hard on video but I doubt we chilled the dough for sufficient time in between each time we rolled out the layers. 


The butter/margarine kept squirting out. Eek. It was frustrating trying to work quickly while the dough’s “dying” on you. But we managed it-ish. 
Dealing with the pastry = HARD! (from top left): Tightly rolled up // cut // molded a la main // prepped for custard filling.

Custard's thick and ready for use!

The custard was pretty simple. Lots of yolks. We ended up having a lot of extra custard so I took it home and finished it up the next night (that was a marathon pastry day. Through a series of unfortunate events—think lack of rolling pin, a fire alarm, flooding in neighbours condos, lack of multiple baking pans—it took me 7 hours to finish everything).

But I digress, back to our dbr social / baking party. The custard thickened really nicely from the flour and cornflour. 

The egg tarts are ready for some extreme heat from the broiler. :D

It was pretty cool seeing it all come together, eventually. To be honest, Averill and I were nervous and unsure about the outcome until the first batch of mini Portuguese egg tarts came out of the oven.

Fresh from the oven, the custard is puffed up and the smell is literally intoxicating. The guys in the living room noticed.

Showing different stages of the baking process. Still had some extra custard left over so I made a huge egg tart (right).

Makes 18          Prep: 40 min    Chill: 2 hr    Bake: 20 min
Puff Pastry
500 g  flour
1 tsp   fine salt
125 g  butter
125 g  margarine
cold water
Custard cream
2 cup  whole milk
1”x3” strip lemon skin
3” cinnamon stick
60 g    flour
20 g    cornflour
375 g  sugar
7        egg yolks
1        egg
1. Mix flour and salt. Pour onto work surface and make a well in the middle.
2. Pour some water into the middle. Knead and add water as necessary until form dough. Let rest awhile. Flour surface lightly if necessary.

1. Heat milk. Add lemon and cinnamon; cook 5-10 min (not specified in video)
2. In a bowl, mix together flour, cornflour, and sugar.
3. Whisk flour mixture into milk.

1. Mix butter and margarine together. Divide into 3.
2. Roll out dough. Keep rectangular shape. (about 18”x12”, ¼” thick)
3. Using one portion of butter, spread all over dough, but avoid borders
4. Divide into 3 sections. Fold outside flaps into middle.
5. Wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge 10-15 min.
6. Repeat steps 2-6 twice to use up the butter portions.
7. Roll like you would a cinnabun, keep it nice and tight.
8. Cut into about 1½” high cylinders, depending on mold size.
9. Dip thumbs into water. Smooth open the pastry to fit the mold.
10. The bottom is thinner than the top. One thumb rests on the bottom, rotating while the other thumb creates the shape on top.
11. Chill in fridge for 1 hour to strengthen the puff pastry.

1. Whisk yolks into the milk.
2. Broil 20 min until blistering and golden yellow. Remove from oven.
3. Sprinkle each with a few drops of water for an extra shine.

nomnomnomnomnomnomnom! So many yummy Portuguese egg tarts!!

Overall, we were quite satisfied with the tarts. Definitely, there were things we would change for the next time. First off is the size and tart mould. All we had to work with was my one 1½ -inch diameter mini-cupcake tin that makes a dozen at a time. 
It took a huge amount of effort to make these tarts, definitely gonna tag-team this like today when I make them again!

Due to the small size of the moulds, the pastry came out thicker than we would’ve liked. If the crusts were thinner, we’d get more of the custard, and hopefully strike the right balance of flakiness and rich eggy-custard yumness. 

Our versions of the Portuguese egg tarts don't compare to those from Lord Stow's but really, I don't think anyone can recreate that. You'll need the breathtaking location of Macau as well and years and years of experience!

3 out of 5 NOMs


  1. This looks very labour intensive. But I'm thinking it was all worth it, huh? =)

  2. AH OUAIS CARM!!!! J'AIME CA!!!!



  3. Yummmm... drooling.
    I normally don't like the authentic ones they sell out there since it way too sweet... but love the Hong-kong/Macau version =D

  4. it looks so yummy! bears a striking resemblance to the ones I from Macau Tower and Pasteleria Ko Kei You're so talented!

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