Dan Tat: Egg Tart

This piece also appeared in the Fall 2009 issue.

By Stacy Leung

Dan Tat is a popular Chinese pastry that is found in every Asian bakery.  Originating in Hong Kong, Dan Tat directly translates as egg tart.  Traditionally, it is made with either a shortcrust or puff pastry that is then filled with an egg custard mixture and baked to perfection.  The flaky crust paired with the sweet filling is sure to become a favorite to anyone who is unfamiliar with this tasty pastry.

Prep Time: 35 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Ready In: 55 Min
Yields: 12 tarts

Ingredients

Crust
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, cold & cut into small pieces*
1 egg, beaten
1 dash vanilla extract

Custard
2/3 cup white sugar
1   1/2 cups water
9 eggs, beaten
1 dash vanilla extract
1 cup evaporated milk**

Directions
1. Generously grease a muffin tin and line with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and flour to make the crust.
3. Mix in butter with a fork or two knives until it is in small crumbs.
4. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract until the mixture forms into a dough.  The texture should be slightly moist.  Add more butter if it is too dry, or more flour if the dough seems greasy.
5. Shape dough into 1  1/2 inch balls, and press the balls into tart molds so that it covers the bottom, and goes up higher than the sides.  Use two fingers and press gently down on the edges to create an “A” shape.
6. Preheat the oven to 450F.  Combine the white sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
7. Strain the eggs through a sieve, and whisk into the sugar mixture.
8. Stir in the evaporated milk and vanilla.
9. Strain the filling through a sieve, and fill the tart shells.
10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown, and the filling is puffed up a little bit.

*It is important for the butter to be cold to develop a flaky crust.
**Whole milk will work as a substitute for evaporated milk.

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