Today we talk about egg tarts in Chinese cuisine.
For British custard tarts, see British custard tart.
One theory suggests Chinese egg tarts are a Chinese adaption of English tarts with custard filling. Guangdong had long been the region in China with most frequent contact with the West, in particular Britain.
As a former British colony, British food naturally assimilated to local Hong Kong tastes. Another suggests that they are evolved from the very similar Portuguese egg tart pastries, possible through the influence of Portuguese Macau.Windsor Castle
The Portuguese-style egg tarts known in Macau (Chinese: more commonly simply as) originated from Lord Stow's Café in Coloane, owned by a Briton named Andrew Stow. Stow modified the recipe of pastel de nata using techniques of making English custard tarts. It has since become available at numerous bakeries, as well as Macau-style restaurants and Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwan branches of the KFC restaurant chain. There was a craze in Singapore and Taiwan in the late 1990s.
Chinese Egg Tarts
Today egg tarts come in many variations within Hong Kong cuisine. These include egg white tarts, milk tarts, honey-egg tarts, ginger-flavoured egg tarts (the two aforementioned variations were a take upon traditional milk custard and egg custard, which was usually served in chocolate tarts, green-tea-flavoured tarts and even bird's nest tarts.
Overall, Hong Kong-style egg tarts have two main types of outer casings: shortcrust pastry, and puff pastry made with lard rather than butter or shortening. Most Hong Kong Chinese food purists hold the egg tarts made with puff pastry in higher regard.
Unlike in English custard tarts, milk is normally not added to the egg custard, and the tart is not sprinkled with ground nutmeg or cinnamon before serving. It is also served piping hot (preferably) rather than at room temperature as per English custard tarts.