I have made them a couple of times, as it's so much cheaper to make them - and it's not hard at all, but I've only ever made the cookie base ones - they are a lot easier.
So this weekend, I thought, well, let's do it properly. The puff pastry ones.... of course, the short cut will be using the frozen puff pastry as you don't really need it to be too puffy anyway, the shop bought frozen puff pastry will work for this recipe. However, it's not fun isn't it?
It's a different puff pastry compared to the traditional French style puff pastry, mainly because of the fats, traditionally, the pastry calls for lard instead of butter, as butter was not so common in China in the old days.
In my adapted version however, I did use butter instead of lard, although the other alternative can be margarine.
75g plain flour
Rub softened butter into flour and cover with cling film, put back in fridge for 15 minutes.
75g plain flour
20g egg yolk (1 egg yolk) - lightly whisked
30g ice water
Make a well with flour, and add egg yolk and water in the middle, made a rough dough.
40g white sugar
2 large eggs
20ml full cream milk
Boil water with sugar, till all melted and keep aside till cool.
Whisk egg, add in milk and cream and mix well.
Add in boiled sugar water, mix well, and sift mixture through fine sift - to make sure the custard will be smooth and silky.
To make pastry:
Roll out water dough to a square.
Roll out fat dough to a smaller square and put in middle of the water dough as a diamond shape.
Fold over the 4 edges of the water dough to cover the fat dough.
Fold up like letter, covering the edges, into 3 folds, and then roll out to half an inch of thickness.
Fold into letter shape - 3 folds again and then put in fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill (a warm dough is very hard to work with and will easy break, a bit of flour can be added to the working bench)
Repeat the process for 3-4 times, each time, the dough needs to be back in the fridge to chill and set.
Roll out the pastry as thin as you can, around 1-2mm thickness, and use a round shape cookie cutter to cut out the round circle to set into the lined mould. I use patty pans as lining, and usually use 2 cases. You can buy those Dan Tart moulds in Asian grocery shops specialised in Cantonese food, or just use muffin tray. If you use muffin tray, use cup cake cases instead of patty pans, as Dan Tart moulds are smaller.
Press a bit of holes on the bottom of the tart shells using fork.
The egg tart shells don't need to be blind baked, so just fill in the custard fillings, to around 80% full.
Pre-heat oven to 200C or 185C fan forced, and bake for 15 minutes in the middle layer of oven, and then lower the temperature to 180C or 165C fan forced, for a further 5-10 minutes till ready.
Cool to serve.
This will make about 15, but will be around 8-10 if using muffin tray.