Today we share with you our Phyllo Egg Tart recipe. A recreation of our delicious tasty Portuguese Custard Tarts. They are very popular in the Portuguese cuisine know as “Pasteis de Nata”. Very interesting to know, Egg Tarts are also very popular in the Chinese cuisine.
The difference between one and the other is that the Portuguese Custard tart filling is already cooked before pouring them into the puff pastry shell. So they don’t need to be in the oven for very long, only until the puff pastry and filling top become golden brown for about 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated oven on maximum temperature (750F). While the egg tarts filling is raw, so you need to bake the tart for about 25 minutes in a preheated oven on 180F. Two different unique baking processes, but both results are amazing and delicious.
The puff pastry shells are also different in the making. Both of them take time and effort to make because you want those layers. When baking the Custard Tart using our home oven, you can never get the flaky and crunchy pastry shell that we have all tasted. Our ovens simple don’t achieve the maximum temperature necessary as in a bakery. So why try? We simple reinvented this amazing pastry using Phyllo sheets. It gives that flaky and crunchy results.
How to making the perfect sugar syrup consistency for this recipe?
To make the sugar syrup, In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, pour water and then add the sugar. Stir it only once until water and sugar are blended. Leave it boil for about 3 to 5 minutes. If necessary shake the saucepan a couple of times but do not stir with the spoon or spatula. The syrup is ready when you end up with the consistency that we call sugar pearl drop consistency. After boiling for 3 minutes start testing it for its consistency with out stirring it. To do this, dip a wooden spatula in the syrup and lift out. Allow it to create a drop. If the drop falls from the spoon quickly, it needs to boil a little longer. When the drop takes longer to fall from the spoon you have achieved the consistency for this recipe. In Portuguese we call it sugar pearl consistency.
Why so many similarities with these two tarts?
A sweet bridge between Portugal and Macau
People say that the Custard Tarts were introduced in Macau by the Portuguese! Actually, it all makes sense, if we think about it. There was a time in history when Macau was under Portuguese administration until 1999. With century of common history between both countries, there’s a lot of food and recipes that our cultures share. For example, did you know that it was the Portuguese Missionaries that introduced the Tempura in Macau? Yes, it’s true, Tempura is Portuguese! During the Lunar Chinese New year we enjoy, dishes and drinks that are part of China culture. Egg Tarts are one of those sweet and delicious treats that are displayed on the table during these 15 day festival. If you can’t be their to celebrate the New Year, you can always take a scroll to Chinatown and find Egg Tarts lined up in every bakeries window or make this delicious Phyllo Egg Tart recipe and have them fresh baked by you in your kitchen.
Phyllo Egg Tarts
A reinvention of a delicious traditional and popular Portuguese pastry known as Pasteis de Nata
- 75 grams water
- 150 grams sugar
- 30 grams flour
- 250 grams whole milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 stripes of lemon skin
- 4 egg yolks
- about 5 or 10 Phyllo pastry sheets
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 300F. To make the sugar syrup, In a small saucepan, on medium heat, pour water and then add the sugar. Stir it only once until water and sugar are blended. Leave it boil for about 5 minutes. If necessary shake the saucepan a couple of times but do not stir with the spoon or spatula. The syrup is ready when you end up with the consistency that we call sugar pearl drop consistency. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
- Step 2 To make the cream mixture, in a small bowl, add in the flour and pour in a bit of cold milk, mix and stir to combine, until you achieve a smooth flour mixture without any lumps. If needed, continue adding small portion of milk while you stir.
- Step 3 Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, on medium heat, pour in the rest of the milk, cinnamon sticks and lemon skin, stir and bring it to a simmer.
- Step 4 Now, pour a bit of the simmered milk into the flour mixture stirring it consistently to avoid lumps.
- Step 5 On medium-low heat, add the flour mixture into the simmered milk and constantly stir it until it thickens into a perfect smooth cream. This may take about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Step 6 Remove the cream from the heat and while stirring constantly, slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Let it rest over the counter for a few minutes.
- Step 7 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the cream mixture into the egg yolk. This is to avoid cooking the yolks when adding them to the warm cream mixture. Add another 2 tbsp into the yolk and whisk again until it is well combined.
- Step 8 Add the yolk mixture to the cream mixture and stir until blended.
- Step 9 Put the cream mixture through a sieve to avoid any lumps in the egg cream mixture and to remove the cinnamon stick and lemon skin.
- Step 10 When preparing the Phyllo pastry, depending on the size of each sheet, cut each sheet in 4 or 8 equal parts.
- Step 11 Arrange the Phyllo sheets in each muffin tin by stacking the 4 equal sheets one on top of the other and offsetting the corners to create a star with 16 tips.
- Step 12 Fill the pastry cups with the egg cream mixture, only 3/4 full.
- Step 13 Close a few tips of the pastry over the egg cream mixture.
- Step 14 Place them into the preheated oven and bake until Phyllo pastry is golden, for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the rack before serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon or if you prefer, icing sugar or sprinkle both!