If you go eat dim sum, I strongly urge you to order freshly made egg tarts. When they come straight out of the oven, there is just nothing like it. Sure, it'll still be good when you have them a couple of hours later. But when they're still warm and oh so soft...they are incredible. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it. Since I'm not sure when I'll be dining at a dim sum restaurant again, I made it my mission to make homemade egg tarts. Ah, but of course, I had to add my own spin and make it a very special flavor. By combining two of my favorite Asian desserts, milk tea, and egg tarts, I present to you, milk tea egg tarts!
Milk Tea Egg Tarts
Shortcrust pastry dough
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter cut into small chunks
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
Milk tea custard
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 bags instant milk tea powder
- 1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the shortcrust pastry dough. Combine 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour with ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon powdered sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add ½ cup butter and blend in the ingredients with a pastry cutter or food processor until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water and mix just until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine ¼ cup sugar with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the 2 bags instant milk tea powder and 1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves. Let sit for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
- Whisk together 4 eggs with ½ cup evaporated milk and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Add in the cooled milk tea mixture, whisking until well combined. Strain the custard filling and set aside.
- Dust a clean work counter with flour. Roll out the shortcrust pastry until it's about ⅛ inch thick. Cut out squares big enough to cover the mini tart shells and line the shells with the pastry dough, making sure not to stretch the dough too much. Place the shells on a baking sheet and chill for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the shells from the fridge and trim off any excess dough that hangs over the edges. Fill the shells with the milk tea custard until it's about 80% full. Bake the tarts for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the custard have set. The center will still be a little jiggly.
- Let the milk tea custards slightly cool. Serve warm.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The steps for making milk tea egg tarts are actually fairly simple. If you ever made a custard pie, it's very similar. First, make the pastry dough. Then the filling. Next, pour the filling into the crust and bake until it has set. And that's it, folks!
For the crust, we're going to make a shortcrust pastry dough for the ultimate buttery crust. Combine the flour with powdered sugar, and salt, and blend in the butter until well combined. Add 1 egg yolk and a touch of water and mix just until the dough comes together. Don't overwork the dough or the crust will be tough. The dough may look a little dry but it'll come together as it rests in the fridge.
I used mini tart shells that are 2 ½ inches in diameter, the same size as the egg tarts served at dim sum restaurants. If your tart shells are bigger, you may want to make double the amount of pastry dough to have enough crust.
While the dough is resting, make the filling. To make the milk tea flavor, you're going to need instant milk tea powder. You can find these at almost any Asian market.
I used a combination of milk tea powder and actual tea leaves to get a strong tea flavor. If you only use the instant milk tea powder, the flavor can be very mild.
Steep the milk tea powder bags and loose tea leaves in the sugared water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Cool the tea water completely.
While the tea is cooling, roll out the pastry dough. Here's the trick: if your kitchen is particularly warm, work quickly. This dough is soft when it's warm so it's easier to handle when it's chilled. When I made these milk tea egg tarts, it was 85 degrees in the kitchen. To avoid having a soft pastry mess, I rolled out the dough, lined the tart shells, then chilled them for 10 minutes before trimming the ends.
Now let's get back to the filling. Whisk the tea sugar water with eggs, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. Strain the mixture, discarding the tea leaves. Straining the custard will also yield a smoother filling. Pour the filling into the prepared crusts and immediately pop them in the oven.
Here is where timing is crucial. If you notice your milk tea egg tarts starting to puff up, take them out of the oven immediately. When they puff up in the oven, they will shrink and crack while cooling. It takes about 10-12 minutes for the custard to set, but keep an eye on the tarts to prevent them from over-baking.
Let the egg tarts cool slightly and then you can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor. These milk tea egg tarts really hit the spot for me. Bonus? You can't find these anywhere making them extra special!
For more Asian dessert inspiration check out these Thai tea molten lava cakes!