Macau Style Egg Tarts

Whilst living in China I had the opportunity to spend a week in Macau. Macau is a beautiful little place, full of European charm and Chinese influences.
The history of Macau is very interesting, what with the different governing countries and all the trade that had happened there for centuries. One can see the Portuguese influences everywhere, from the architecture, to the shops, signs, and of course the cuisine.

There are many great dishes that I could ramble on about, but for this post I want to talk about a personal favourite. I am talking about 蛋挞 (Dàntà) or in English, Egg tart. Egg tarts are very popular in Southern China, particularly in Hong Kong and Macau.
Egg tarts were introduced to Macau via Portuguese merchants who brought the popular Pastel de Nata recipe with them when they settled in Macau. Over time, this recipe became the popular egg tart that is still eaten in many Asian countries. 
McDonalds and KFC in Asia jumped on the bandwagon and have been selling them since the 1990, and egg tarts are becoming more popular in North America. It is normal to find them at bakeries, street vendors and grocery stores and if any of you find yourself in Macau definitely take a trip to Lord Stow’s Bakery the  most famous bakery to sell these delicious treats in Macau!

Basically a custard tart that is baked in a flaky puff pastry shell they are often served straight from the oven. If you buy them cold or wait to eat them, traditionally you would throw them into the oven or a toaster oven to heat up again and to brown the top. They tend to be sweet and eggy tasting but you can find variations on the flavour depending where you are.
I personally am rather jealous of my family as they can pop into the local Chinese grocery store to buy these tarts fresh from the oven so I made it my mission to make my own.
Although I originally was going to make my own gluten-free puff pasty, I was lucky enough to find some frozen pastry shells at a local store that are gluten free and dairy free, which also happened to be made in a local facility.
With those in hand and about a dozen notes and changes to the original recipe I came up with the following gluten and dairy free, low sugar egg tarts.

Although these are not authentic they are a good replica of the original recipe. They are a dark yellow, firmer then the original Macau ones and have the slightest hint of coconut. I am really pleased with the tart shells too, thanks to Bake My Day Bakery for introducing me to your gluten free tart shells, they are perfect!

Macau Style Egg Tarts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • Puff pastry shells
  • ½ Cup unsweetened almond milk ( I used vanilla flavoured so did not use vanilla extract)
  • ½ Cup coconut cream
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • ¼ Cup coconut sugar
  • 6 Egg yolks
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil or line a standard muffin tin. Place tart shells in each muffin well. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until they turn slightly golden. Remove and cool in pan.
  3. Separate egg yolks and place in bowl of stand mixer or large bowl.
  4. Add sugar and cornstarch, and whisk together until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add vanilla, almond milk and coconut cream and whisk to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk until it becomes thin batter consistency.
  6. Pour custard into tart shells, do not pour all the way to top, leave some tart shell showing.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  8. You will know that they are done when you jiggle the pan and the custard does not move.
  9. If you want the tops to brown, turn on broiler and place muffin tin under it for a couple minutes, but keep an eye on it or it will burn!
  10. Remove from oven and let cool to touch, they will deflate some. Serve immediately while still warm.
  11. Will keep in refrigerator for 3 days or will freeze for a month.


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