(You know you’ve been talking too much about eggs when your google ads have switched to ‘Egg Donor Websites’… Sorry! haha)
On a trip to Macau last January i was introduced to the local specialty of egg custard tarts also known as Portuguese egg custards. I was taken to a famous local bakery called “Lord Stow’ and upon entering the shop i knew i was in trouble, the buttery smell of the freshly baked pastries was enough to make you faint, just like in Parisian bakeries at 7am. I was hooked!
Those aren’t the same egg custards you get at your local chinese restaurant, i’m talking about layers upon layers of the richest freshly made puff pastry filled with the creamiest custard imaginable, once baked they are brushed with a syrup and baked some more to create a caramelized skin. The pastry is so crisp and buttery it feels like it’s been fried and works perfectly to offset the creaminess of the custard. Intense!
Since i gave up on the idea to move to Macau, find an apartment upstairs the bakery, become a tour guide on a bicycle and spend the rest of my life eating egg custards, i did the next best thing. I tried to re-create those artery clogging delicacies at work. And i did! Those life altering attempts coincided magically with a request from Ann at redacted recipes to enter a mini-pie contest. So Ann, if you don’t mind, i’m going to submit these as my entry. I think they qualify, the size, the crust and the caramelized-ness forming a thin top layer… don’t they look like mini-pies?
Finding a recipe was a bit of a stretch but i finally found a descent one in a Hong- Kong website. The puff pastry is made from scratch so it’s a bit of a challenge for the average cook but definetly worth the effort. I’m not claiming to have re-created the original recipe but in my opinion it’s pretty damn close.
Oh and i almost forgot!… Ladies, please click on my google links and donate your eggs so i can get my 15 cents…okay bad bad…bad joke! *Zen slapping himself*
- 2 ½ cup flour
- 1 tbsp milk powder
- 2 tbsp shortening
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup ice water (approximately)
- ¾ cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
2. Bring butter to room temp, and cut into slices approximately 3mm thick.
3. Roll dough out into a big rectangle and arrange butter pieces on half of the dough, fold dough over to cover the butter pieces, press with hands and then roll out with rolling pin. Sprinkle top with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
4. Turn dough a quarter turn, fold into threes (like a letter) and roll out. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Repeat this 4 times.
5. Finally, roll the dough out into a large rectangle and fold onto itself like a jelly-roll. Let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile combine the cream and the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until the mixture is pale, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Strain and reserve.
7. Boil the sugar and water to make a syrup. Cool and reserve.
8. Preheat oven to 400F. Butter and flour a twelve-cup muffin pan.
9. Cut twelve 1cm thick slices from the rolled up dough (about 1 ounce each). Store the rest of the dough in fridge or freezer for later use.
10. Wet your fingers with cold water and shape each slice into a disc big enough to line a muffin cup.
11. Line the muffin cups and fill with egg mixture about ¾ full (about 3 tbsp per muffin cup)
12. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, until brown spots appear on the surface of the filling. Brush gently with syrup (if using) and return to the oven until the top is caramelized.
13. Cool slightly on rack. Eat HOT if you can.