You can find an egg tart at any dim sum table.
Just look for a small flaky pastry filled with creamy yellow custard. Depending on its colonial influences, it will have a caramelized exterior (the Portuguese influence in Macau) or a smooth, glossy finish (the British influence in Hong Kong).
If you are lucky, it will be warm when you snatch it from the dim sum cart. Better yet, try out our recipe for fresh egg tarts straight from the oven!
During the 15 days of celebration for Chinese New Year, the first day of the lunar month is traditionally celebrated with tea and sweet treats. While we can’t welcome guests into our home this year, try sharing your homemade tarts with family over Zoom!
We asked Tik Tok chef Eric to lead us through the process of making Hong Kong egg tarts. Make sure to follow along with our chefs step-by-step in your own kitchen!
Egg tarts have a multicultural history.
Egg tarts were first sold in the early 20th century in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Guangdong was home to the only port accessible to foreign trade at the time. As a result, the Cantonese cuisine cultivated many foreign influences.
Department stores throughout the city started inventing new pastries to attract customers. Naturally, the egg tart instantly became a crowd favorite.
This recipe specifically uses the Hong Kong variation of the egg tart. There, chefs elevated the egg tart to a high-end dessert in Western-style restaurants.
In the 1960s the tart made its way into the stomachs of the working-class population. Guangzhou tarts were typically big enough to be a single serving, while Hong Kong tarts were served in twos or threes.
Common flavors were chocolate and green tea. There was even an abalone, or birds’ nest, flavor.
Where have I seen egg tarts before?
Egg tarts are now a staple in Chinese cuisine, and many welcome Chinese New Year with egg tarts for luck and prosperity.
They are a craving of Aang’s in “Avatar: the Last Airbender.”
You can cook them yourself in the game “Cooking Mama.”
“The Ancient Magus Bride” made tarts look delectable.
Try out this iconic dessert yourself this Chinese New Year by using our recipe! Afterward, if you’re looking for even more sweet treats, check out our list of holiday cookie recipes.