With Easter just around the corner, I have eggs on the brain. My go-to egg recipes usually include quiche and breakfast casseroles. But what about the egg custard tart? This dim sum treat is typically not incorporated into the Easter spread at our house, but with its creamy, sweet custard center cradled in a flaky pastry crust, it's a perfect addition for spring.
Enlisting the help of my 3YO son, I tested a recipe for the tarts from The Young Chef’s Chinese Cookbook. This cookbook breaks down the tart recipe into eight delightfully simple steps. Pictures accompany each step, and show each ingredient and utensil used so you can’t go wrong. A "Tips & Tricks" section (at the end of each recipe) lists essential info for each recipe. According to this recipe, the "trick" to making a perfect egg custard is to make sure that all ingredients for the filling (eggs, milk, and cream) are at room temperature--to avoid curdling during baking.
While some of the steps were too advanced for my 3YO (cracking eggs and measuring the liquid ingredients), he was able help with most of the recipe.
(beating the eggs and pressing the pie crust into tins)
We cooked the tarts an extra fifteen minutes to achieve a beautiful browned custard top (my oven temperature might be a little off--I need to check this). After waiting a painfully long amount of time, until they cooled completely, we taste-tested the tarts.
The crust was crunchy and flaky, and carmelized where the the sugary-custard filling had spilled over the tart tins, while the center was smooth and creamy, sweet and rich (like a slighly-eggy Crème Brûlée). My son gobbled down the tart within two minutes, leaving me only crumbs to finish. Thankfully, the recipe made five additional tarts (yield is not mentioned in the recipe) to savor over the next few days.
Want the recipe? Check out the Young Chef's Chinese Cookbook at your local library, or check out these links: Irvin Lin's Caramel Egg Custard Tart at "Eat the Love" and Cantonese Egg Custard Tart at Christine's Recipes.
What are your favorite egg-related recipes for spring?