Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Hello Everyone! Happy first day of the month! A new month means it’s time to change it up again on the blog. Here’s a recap of the previous months and upcoming month’s theme:

  • January & February: Red-coloured food
  • March: Orange-coloured food
  • April & May: Yellow-coloured food

Do any of you guys have a guess yet for this year’s theme on Amcarmen’s Kitchen?

Yesterday, I went on an insane grocery spree for the first time in two weeks. I’m usually the type who gets her groceries on a weekly basis. So having to push around a heavily-loaded trolley, with a physical grocery list in my hand was indeed a stressful task for me.

I’m normally the one who takes charge of the groceries in the household, so I know exactly what I need, and what brands to choose. If I was already stressed out from a weekly norm of mine, what more the husbands who were by default, named head of the household, tasked to do the groceries amid our Enhanced Community Quarantine? I saw helpless and confused husbands on the phones with their wives, either texting, talking, or on video call, arguing back and forth on what brand of milk they should be getting.

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Moving forward, here’s an easy quarantine treat to whip up in the kitchen over the weekend. These sweet-tasting Hong Kong style Egg Tarts draw its influences from the English Custard Tart and the Portuguese Pastel de Nata.

The crust for these egg tarts are extremely flaky, tender, and buttery; made from a rough, shortcut puff pastry dough. The filling only has 5 ingredients – all of which you will probably already have sitting in your pantry. The end product? You get a smooth as silk, shiny custard that will absolutely put a smile on your face.

These tarts are best devoured fresh hot out of the oven. Trust me, it’s a completely different experience from the lukewarm version you would normally get at a dim sum restaurant. Of course, you should wait for them to cool down slightly if you don’t want to burn your tongue off!

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please do take the time to check out the original recipe I followed to make these favourite pastry treats of mine over on The Woks of Life by Sarah, one of a family of four cooks.

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | MAKES 18 – 20 TARTS

INGREDIENTS

For the rough puff pastry dough

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature (but not softened)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the egg filling

  • 3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup hot water (scant cup)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Pastry Dough: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and break it up roughly using your fingertips, making sure that visible little chunks of butter can still be seen in the dough.
  2. Add the 2 tablespoons of cold water to the flour mixture and bring the dough together. Add a bit more water if needed, but not too much. Cover the dough and leave it to chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead to form into a neat rectangular shape. Roll the dough away from you (not back and forth), to roughly form a 20 x 50 cm rectangle. Try to keep the edges even. Don’t overwork the dough. Flecks of butter should still be visible in the dough.
  4. Fold the top third of the dough down to the center, then the bottom third up and over the top fold. Roll the dough out again to three times the length. Fold the same way as before, then cover and chill for another 30 minutes.
  5. Egg Filling: While the dough is resting, make the filling. Dissolve the sugar into the cup of hot water and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Whisk the eggs and evaporated milk together and then thoroughly whisk in the sugar water and vanilla altogether.
  7. Strain through a very fine mesh strainer. This step is extremely important to getting a smooth and glassy egg tart.
  8. Egg Tarts: Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6) and position a rack in the lower third of your oven. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan with butter.
  9. Roll out the dough to about 0.5cm thick and cut circles to fit your muffin pan. Press the dough into the pan and fork to make a little fluted edge on the dough (optional). This is just to make the egg tarts look pretty once baked.

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

  1. Use a ladle to fill each tart shell until just reaching the edges of the outside crust. Once filled, immediately, but very carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the filling is just set. If you see the tart shells start to puff up a bit, crack open the oven a little and they should settle back down.
  2. Serve: Let the tarts cool down for a couple of minutes and then you can enjoy them while they’re still hot!

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Before I end tonight’s post, I’m happy to say that I will be able to cook up the dishes I had originally planned for the upcoming months ahead! If you read the end of my post last week, I talked about how difficult it has been to go out and shop at the bigger supermarket chains because of the lack of public transport to get there. Yesterday my cousin, who owns a car, offered me to go grocery shopping with her and thus I’ve managed to source the ingredients that I need!

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2015: Jialng Mew

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies

Hello Everyone, I’m Jialing, and I’ll be taking over Amcarmen’s Kitchen for this week, so watch this space for my experimental Filipino fusion recipes! Like Allison, I come from a Filipino background, but didn’t really start doing a lot of cooking until my university years. My cooking style is… hazardous… I may set off the occasional fire alarm, or forget a key ingredient or two, but don’t worry! My recipes for this week have been Amcarmen-approved. Today’s recipe features one of my favourites, Chicken Pastel, which is a cream-based chicken and vegetable dish, typically eaten with rice, as typical with most Filipino cuisine.

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies

Today’s recipe came into existence after I made a batch of chicken pastel using 1kg of meat, then realising too late that I only had 2 cups of rice left in the pantry, and wasn’t due for a Coles-run for another week 😦 I decided to make use of recently purchased ramekin sets by turning the pastel into pot pies, which proved to be a big success with my boyfriend (or so I surmised, after returning to a mountain of empty ramekins). The pastel is adapted from my mother’s recipe, using chicken thighs, which she claims is tastier (and she’s right, of course), but be warned that this recipe makes several servings of pastel, simply because there are a lot of components, but feel free to play around with the ratios.

So apparently, after doing a bit of research, Filipinos adapted this dish from the Spanish Pastel de Pollo – essentially the same thing – which is actually eaten with a pastry crust. Not rice. So… this recipe isn’t so much fusion food as accidentally recreating the recipe in its original state… But… anyway.

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies Ingredients

PREP TIME 2 HOURS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | MAKES 6 MINI POT PIES

INGREDIENTS

For the marinated chicken

  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, cubed
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp flour
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

For the pastry

  • 2 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2/3 cup ice water
  • 250g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar

For the chicken pastel filling

  • Prepared marinated chicken
  • 1 can (420g) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (230g) vienna sausage*, cut into 1/2cm pieces, reserve the liquid
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 6 large cup mushrooms, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large red Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 medium-sized capsicum, diced
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

*Alternatively you can use cocktail sausages or pre-cooked chorizo sausages

METHOD

Preparation

  1. Marinate the chicken: Toss the chicken thigh fillet with lemon juice and soy sauce, and marinate in a large covered bowl for at least an hour (or refrigerate overnight for juicer chicken).
  2. Once you are ready to prepare the chicken pastel (after you have made the pastry), add the flour to the chicken marinade, making sure to mix evenly.
  3. Prepare the pastry dough: Combine the flour, white sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or a blunt knife, in my case), cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse, pebbly mixture. Be careful not to overwork the mixture as this will cause the butter to melt before baking and reduce the pastry’s flakiness!
  4. Slowly add the iced water, one tablespoon at a time, gently stirring it into the flour until the mixture just holds when pinched (it should still look crumbly, but not doughy).
  5. Carefully shape mixture into two round disks (if the dough does not hold, add another tablespoon of iced water), then cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour. While the pastry is chilling, prepare the filling.

Chicken Pastel Filling

  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the garlic stirring until fragrant and golden brown, followed by the onions. While onion is cooking, add the chicken bouillon cube.
  2. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the chicken together with the marinade liquids. Stir continuously until the marinade thickens slightly and the chicken is almost cooked through.
  3. Add the carrots and potato, cooking them until softened for about 3-5 minutes. Then add in the capsicum and mushroom, cooking them further for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Once all vegetables are cooked through, add cream of mushroom soup, plus half the can of water or milk if you prefer, stirring well (if you are using cocktail sausages or chorizo, use one full can of water/milk). Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the vienna sausage pieces and the reserved liquid to the chicken mixture, and stir, allowing to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  6. Remove from stove, and allow the chicken pastel to cool down a bit while preparing the pastry.

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies

Prepare the pastry for the pies

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (200F or gas mark 6). Spray 12 ceramic ramekins with cooking oil (or grease with butter) and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean tabletop or surface. Remove one disk of pastry dough from fridge (leave the other in the fridge while you work, to make sure the butter in the mixture remains chilled), and gently work into a ball. Cut into 6 equal portions.
  3. Working with one portion at a time, divide into two pieces – one piece should be approximately 1/3 of the portion (this will be the top) and the remaining 2/3 of the portion will be used to line the inside of the ramekin.
  4. Roll out the larger portion into a circle large enough to fit inside the ramekin. Gently drape the pastry into the ramekin, pressing it onto the bottom and sides. Smooth out the folds of pastry so that the entire interior of the ramekin is covered, with a slight border of pastry going over the lip of the ramekin.
  5. Spoon enough chicken pastel filling into the pastry-lined ramekin, ensuring that it does not spill over the edge.
  6. Roll out the remaining 1/3 portion of pastry into a circle, and gently place on top of the filled ramekin. Join edges to pastry lining the lip of the ramekin, pinching the pastry securely.
  7. Using a small paring knife, cut slits into the top (this will allow the heat to escape, so the pie tops do not explode in your oven).
  8. Repeat with remaining 5 portions (to make process quicker, first divide all the portions into 1/3 and 2/3 pieces, and then roll them out and line the six ramekins. Fill the ramekins, then pinch the tops into place and cut slits).
  9. Arrange the ramekins on a baking tray, lined with baking paper (this will catch any drips from the filling). Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes (may or may not take longer depending on your oven), or until tops are golden and pastry is flaky.
  10. Once the first batch of pot pies are in the oven, repeat steps 13-19 with the remaining pastry dough from the fridge.
  11. Once cool, the pies should come out of the ramekins quite easily, with gentle help from a breakfast knife.
  12. Serve hot and enjoy with a side of a green leafy salad of your choice.

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies Process

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies

Baked pies can be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for up to 3 months. Place frozen pies in refrigerator overnight to thaw. To heat refrigerated pies, place in an oven preheated to 200 C for 15-20 minutes.

Unfortunately, the recipe for the chicken pastel filling and pastry don’t quite match up in terms of quantity, so there WILL be leftover chicken pastel. But never fear! It is quite delicious eaten with a bowl of steaming white rice, in true Filipino fashion #pastelfordays

Chicken Pastel Mini Pot Pies

Recipe Copyright © 2015 | jialingmew

ENJOY YOUR MEAL!

Jialing.

myTaste.com