History of the egg tart


Enjoyed this back story very much. It is always interesting to learn the origin and adaptation of a cultural and highly regarded food. In this case, egg tarts which I had not experienced in my youth but appreciate in all forms today. Makes me want to run out and buy some!

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Another English custard came from Trinity College in Cambridge, UK which has records of “Cambridge burnt cream” 60 years prior to mention of crème brûlée in French cookery book. Maybe Harters knows more about this?

As a fan of dairy I absolutely love set cream desserts and I hate desserts and sugary things, but make an exception for flans and set custard dishes.

I did eat these tarts from Tai Cheong bakery in HK and Lord Stowe in Macau. Not for me, at all. Only tasted sugar and eggs. So eggy. Everyone seems to love the tarts so it’s just me then.

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The Cantonese chefs also swapped the short crust pastry used in the British tarts for flaky pastry, which was commonly made for dim sum dishes like barbecue pork puffs, where the dough was made with pork lard instead of butter.

Thanks for sharing the article. Love egg tarts! I can eat several in a go!

Tai Cheung was mentioned in the feature, it makes only short crust egg tarts and not the flaky dim sum version, which I prefer.

More about egg tarts in Asia here.

That was great. Thank you!

I was so intrigued to read about what I thought was connection to Portugal and to eat them there. Basically I figured it was a colony situation.

This was interesting;

“Some fans assume it has Portuguese origins because of its similar flaky crust to the pastel de nata, but it’s believed that the daan tat is actually a variation of the British custard tart.”

Wikipedia says KFC bought the recipe!

Apparently the is a Macau style egg tart that is more like the Portuguese pastel de nata.

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And the Portuguese ones aren’t always sweet. A local Portuguese bakery makes wonderful bacalao ones on the weekends.


That sounds interesting!

This is nice! How do you like them?

Absolutely not. It’s a slap in the face if you like Portuguese version and thinking it’s similar in taste and texture. Macau ones are even more disappointing than the Hong Kong version. Both are made for people who have a sweet tooth and like extreme eggy taste. Also, the crust is too much. I mean too much pastry!

Just remembered ones I ate in Taiwan were the worst of the 3. Only taste of sugar.

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Is it? Such a shock?! They are just different, it’s Macanese Chinese adaption on a Western pastry.

Compared to the Chinese dim sum style egg tart, Macau egg tarts we can see some Portuguese influence, but it is still closer to a Chinese style egg tart. Pastel de nata is sweeter, richer in taste due to the additional ingredients like vanilla and cinnamon, and sugar is added on the custard to have the caramel slightly burnt effect compared to the Chinese style ones that skip these ingredients.

Note that the flaky pastry of Chinese egg tart is made with lard instead of butter. Macau ones, the flaky pastry is made with butter. Compared to Western style pastry, they are less sweet and lighter. The custard uses milk instead of cream, added with egg. Macau style tarts like Lord Stowe is slightly sweeter than the Chinese ones.

You can read this post, many HO members shared their degustation of the egg tarts found in Asia.


I read that post after I posted ; who knew there were so many variations? Okay, maybe just not me. Thanks!

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I can’t seem to have access to that link I posted a long time ago, but it compared all the egg tarts in Hong Kong and measured them. Quite amazing to behold haha. Hopefully it comes back with all the info. Not sure why the dns server isn’t working :confused: hopefully no great firewall encroachment.

And for a random variant I recall in SF:

I recall it being extremely rich and prefer the smaller more typical GG Bakery version, but eh an interesting take! Would you consider this an evolution though?

Unfortunately, I don’t think you can see the article again with the same url, it’s behind a paywall now, address changed probably.

Husband loves this and i’ve made a few times. Less eggy than the Chinese egg tart but high in vanilla, the custard texture is more elastic than a normal custard, a bit gelatin like. I’m not a big fan. Prefer the custard texture of crème brûlée or creme caramel.

I LOVE them, mostly because I really like cod. In fact, I just had one for lunch (along with a “frank in blanket” made with linguica) when I made my pickup of bacalao and biscoitos (like biscotti).

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Does it use a similar egg custard?

I found this recipe

I might like this one better.

Here is a bit of what we saw in Libon.


Maybe? The tarts are small, so I can’t tell if there’s cheese in there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a little cream in addition to the egg.


Very tasty version at Lidl.


Thank you for this story, it was great. Dear shrinkrap, thanks a lot for the pictures, I miss Lisbon, Cascais, and Sintra. :heart: I was there 3 years ago.

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They were still warm! I want that!! :yum:

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