Epicure Recipe Card #31: Baked Custard Tart

Never have I struggled with the thought of cooking something so badly.

I made a commitment to make my way through these recipe cards this year which, as you may have noticed, has slowed down in progress somewhat of late. I blame the weather – many of the yet to be tackled recipe cards feature seafood and salads and they’re just not the type of winter food cravings I have. There could also be the small issue of a recent lack of cooking inspiration/motivation as well. Each week I flip through the remaining cards and there really hasn’t been anything that jumps out at me with cause for excitement, motivating me to recreate it in the kitchen.

And then there was this – baked custard tart.

I love tarts. I love pastry, any pastry. I do not love custard. I can’t even say I like custard. Something about its texture and rich flavour which don’t appeal to me. I will consume it in small amounts but will avoid it if it’s the star of a dessert – for example, vanilla slices, crème brûlées, crème caramels… One of the few custard-based foods that will get my heart a-flutter is ice-cream, but we’ll talk about that another time.

In contrast to my aversion to custard is my love of Chinese egg tarts (‘daan taht’ 蛋撻). Some people are very firm about whether they belong to the puff pastry or shortcrust pastry camps, but I lust after both varieties so long as the pastry is made well and the filling not too sweet. Generally speaking, egg tarts made with shortcrust pastry keep better and are less greasy when reheated. Chinese custom, however, is to consume them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle from the oven so there’s not usually the issue of leftovers!

In Hong Kong, bakeries typically produce two batches of egg tarts a day – one mid-morning and another around 3pm in time for afternoon tea. I remember coming home from school and Mum would often have some egg tarts, still warm of course, sitting on the dinner table picked up during the afternoon run from the bakery down the road. That bakery only produced shortcrust pastry ones and trying to peel apart the layers of pastry was definitely an entertaining part of enjoying this simple pleasure of childhood.

The egg tarts pictured above are definitely my favourite shortcrust ones in Sydney and they’re from a small Hong Kong-style bakery down a short arcade in Eastwood. The pastry is crumbly and evenly-shaped around the edges as well as across the base. Buy four or more of these and you’ll receive them packaged in a box as shown. And yes, I did purchase four but one of them was eaten before it had a chance to grace the camera as a model!

Tai Baan Bakery (大班麵包餅店)
Shop 7, Eastwood Arcade (interconnecting Rowe St & Hillview Lane), 183 Rowe St, Eastwood NSW
Tel: (02) 9804 0168

Opening Hours:  7 days  around 10am-6pm?

happy eating!


  1. Ha now that's what I call easy baking. Daan tart are surely the lamington of Chinese culture - everyone has a soft spot for them!

  2. I totally know what you mean about lacking in inspiration! Sometimes it just gets too much to want to turn around and cook anything, particularly if you aren't overly enthusiastic about the dish!

  3. I have a really nice recipe for egg tarts, so I'll have to test it soon!

  4. Ooh, Tai Baan's dan taht's are my fave as well!
    I was never that much of a fan of the ones they served at yum cha.

  5. custard tarts are one of those things you love and then forget.. but your post has reminded me of how much I love them.. and of my memories both in hong kong and macau... thanks for the reminder!

  6. I know how you feel Rita - sometimes I'm not inspired as well.... but I'll let you know I am always waiting for your series of recipes! On the matter of egg tarts - I enjoy both kinds - the hong kong/macau ones especially - are they the ones that originate from Portugal?

  7. Dinner every night is a challenge for me, i stare at the fridge for about 20 minutes!

    It's a struggle, i know the feeling

  8. yum

    i want to my my other half these babies

  9. I agree. I keep looking at my recipes for inspiration and see all these amazing summer foods, but like you say.... we're still wanting warming foods.
    I love a good egg tart, these look awesome.

  10. Yuck, salads, I concur :)
    Have never tried Hong-Kong style custard egg tarts, but that picture has piqued my curiousity. They look a treat!

  11. I;m with you. Asian style egg tarts are superior :)

  12. Daan taht is a major favourite of Junior and Mac.

    Now I must say, and maybe I am putting a challenge out there to you, but I would have loved for you to have recreated them and shared the recipe with us :)

    I really need to go and pay Eastwood a visit. My grandmother lived there and I spent most of my school holidays there, no Asian bakeries back then though, I think it has been a good 15 years since I was there last.

  13. You don't like custard but you love egg tarts? You weirdo ;)

  14. i love the custard tarts from tai baan too!

  15. Hey Helen, hehe, my top tip for cheats' baking - buy the product instead! =p

    Hey Gastronomy Gal, I know, you've got to be sufficiently excited about it to warrant cooking it, right?

    Hey Maria, I've never bothered to try to make my own egg tarts because, I think, there'd be too many to eat otherwise!

    Hey Lil, some of the yumcha ones are really good though! I especially like places that do mini ones =)

    Hey Thang, oh yes, Portugese tarts in Macau!

    Hey Trissa, heheh, thank you! Ahhh, the Portugese-style ones are from Macau and are a whole different type of delicious =)

    Hey Laura, exactly! I need to think of what to cook tomorrow night actually...

    Hey Dolly, thanks for dropping by =)

    Hey Anna, can't wait to get back into salad weather.

    Hey Emma, I quite like salads, just as long as they pack plenty of flavour =) Try egg tarts when you get a chance - highly recommended!

    Hey Anh, I think I'm just used to their lighter flavour and texture perhaps.

    Hey Sara, there's a bit of a universal appeal about these tarts =) But I believe hunting down an "authentic" recipe would probably involve the use of lard and result in a copious amount of resulting tarts!

    Hey Conor, yes, I know I'm weird... =p

    Hey Panda, seriously good egg tarts from this bakery!

  16. Just came back from a duck dinner and had a very bad dessert... this is making it worse coz I will love a piece.

  17. Sooo... when are you making the custard tart?? ;) I'm with you - I lust after both shortcrust and puff pastry egg tarts. And when they're still warm from the oven *swoon*

    My dad used to be a baker and he used to bake tons and tons of egg tarts for us. But because we got them so often, we didn't appreciate them and stopped eating them. :( What on earth was I thinking?!

  18. Hey Penny, haha, a simple dessert and a great snack with a cup of tea as well =)

    Hey Agnes, I don't plan on making egg tarts any time soon - not when there's ones as good as these to buy! =p

    Missy, you need to steal some baking tips from your dad =D

  19. Hello,

    Wow! Nice delicious recipes you have provided in your site. From your site, I have got some new ideas about many types of the recipe. Thanks a lot....


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