An egg tart is a kind of custard tart that comes from the English custard tart and the Portuguese pastel de nata found in Greater China. The pie is made of an exterior pastry crust filled with egg custard. Egg tarts are sometimes served in dim sum restaurants and chaan tengs.
The egg tarts were created in the early 20th century in Guangzhou, China’s capital city of Guangdong province, as a hybrid of traditional Cantonese steamed egg pudding and an English custard tart. The position of Guangzhou, as the only port open to international traders, has led to the growth of Cantonese cuisine having many outside influences.
In the 1940s, egg tarts were introduced to Hong Kong via Guangzhou but could initially only be found in restaurants of the higher-end Western type. Chaan tengs started serving egg tarts in the 1960s, making the pastry popular with the Hong Kong working-class population.
About Hong Kong Egg Tart Recipe
When Guangzhou’s economy expanded their trade and contact with Britain, pastry chefs at the city’s Western-style department stores were asked to create new pastries every week to draw competitors’ customers. A department store invented the egg tart, which features a lard-based puff pastry crust and a filling similar to steamed egg pudding, for one of these “Weekly Extra” contests. The restaurant Zhen Guang in Guangzhou is also credited with inventing the Chinese egg tarts.
Hong Kong egg tarts fillings are neither milky nor creamy. Although the texture of the filling depends on the freshness and temperature, it is close to the consistency of denser, just-set jello. For more international dessert recipes, click here.
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