I had a roll of Marc Payot ready-made shortcrust pastry meant for making something else earlier this week but as usual the plan was shelfed and I had to look for some other recipes in order to consume the pastry before its expiry date. Then I happened to see a recipe for Portuguese Egg Tarts using ready-made puff pastry. It appeared so easy upfront. Bingo! Let's do it, let's make Portuguese Egg Tarts today!
Making Portuguese Egg Tarts was really very easy according to this recipe, it took only 1 hour from start to end. After 1 hour, I was literally on cloud nine seeing how my egg tarts came out from the oven resembling those that I ate in Singapore. I thought it would be difficult and I never imagined it was so easy to make them. What's more, you don't need a cake-mixer, only a hand whisk and a sieve (plus an oven and some muffin cups of course).
I made 9 Portuguese Egg Tarts in total and 7 of them were gobbled up between husband and wife as dessert after dinner, only 2 were left for the next day. Nevermind that the egg tarts should have been made using puff pastry (pâte feuilletée / bladerdeeg) instead of shortcrust pastry (pâte brisée / kruimeldeeg), they still tasted heavenly! Silly me, why did I make the stupid mistake of thinking that shortcrust pastry is puff pastry? :)
Recipe adapted from StoryOfBing
250g of ready-made puff pastry, thawed to room temp (I made the mistake of using shortcrust pastry hence the egg tarts did not puff up as much)
6 large egg yolks at room temp
1/4 cup castor sugar, about 50g
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I am using vanilla essence)
1/2 cup heavy cream, about 120ml (I am using whipping cream with 35% fat)
1/2 cup fresh full cream milk, about 120ml
some melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. (As the temperature in my oven has always been very unstable, I specially used an oven thermometer to make sure I achieved the right temperature of 200C. The oven temperature has to be sufficiently hot in order for the pastry to puff up and the egg custard to caramelize.)
2. Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix well using a hand whisk.
3. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, followed by 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup fresh milk, whisk well until it becomes frothy.
4. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove lumps and bubbles, so as to achieve a smooth silky mixture. Set aside the egg custard mixture.
5. In the mean time, the puff pastry should have been thawed to room temperature. Cut it equally into 6 or 10 equal pieces depending on the number of tarts you want to make. (The puff pastry came in a pack rolled up with a protective sheet so I had to unroll it, remove the protective sheet and roll it up again like a swiss roll, before cutting into 6 or 10 equal pieces.)
6. Prepare muffin pans or individual muffin tin cups. Grease them well with melted butter.
7. Take a piece of pastry with the folded layers sitting stacked up, press it downwards into the muffin cup making sure that it is covered completely. (Note that you may choose to directly press down and shape the pastry on the muffin cup. Or you can do it my way, take a piece of pastry on one palm, wet it with some melted butter on top, press down with another palm and shape it such that it becomes a round disc big enough for the muffin cup. Then fit it into the muffin cup.)
8. Finally fill each muffin cup with the egg custard mixture until 80% full.
9. Bake in a preheated oven on the lowest shelf at 200 degrees celsius. Bake for 20 to 25 min if you are making 10 tarts, or 25 to 30 min if you are making 6 tarts. Try not to open the oven while baking and do not cover the tarts with aluminium foil either. Check if the tarts are browned and caramelized on top and if the centre of the egg custard is set. If the egg custard still appears wobbly, let the tarts bake in the oven for longer. (It took me 30 min exactly for baking 9 small tarts which I placed on the middle shelf.)
10. Remove the egg tarts from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. To unmould, carefully use a toothpick to loosen the sides of each egg tart and remove it gently. Note that the egg tarts are very fragile.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest (HK + Macau - Jan & Feb 2013) hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food.