Portuguese Egg Tarts

These are really easy to make.

No blender or mixer required. No long hours of labour in the kitchen. Just a simple hand whisk.

The tarts turned out deliciously soft and silky and the pastry was perfectly flakey.

Pay attention to the notes at the end of the recipe for great results!

Makes 10 small tarts or 6 jumbo tarts.

Ingredients

250g of frozen puff pastry (for making desserts, not the kind for savoury tarts)
6 extra large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of whole fresh milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Use a oven thermometer if you are unsure if your oven is efficient. If using a fan-forced oven, reduce temperature to 180°C.

Thaw the pack of frozen pastry.

Separate the egg yolks from whites and place the yolks in a large bowl.

Add 1/4 cup caster sugar.

Using a handheld whisk, whisk well to combine.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use the good stuff as flavours are very delicate in this recipe.

Whisk well to combine.

Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. It’s the thick stuff.

Add 1/2 cup of fresh whole milk. Whisk well to combine.

The mixture should be rather frothy by now. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the bubbles and rough egg or cream bits.

The mixture should look deliciously silky now. Set aside.

Grease a muffin pan with melted butter. I made jumbo sized tarts, so I used a 6 muffin pan.

The pastry should be thawed by now. The pastry usually come in sheets. Roll them up in a tight roll.

Divide and cut into 6 pieces for jumbo size tarts, or 10 pieces for regular tarts.

Place each piece of pastry in muffin pan, ensuring that the folded layers are sitting stacked. Using your fingers, press the pastry downwards into the pan without breaking the layers. These layers give us those hundreds of layers of flakey pastry later, so we don’t want to break them.

Wet your fingers with some melted butter. Using your thumbs, press the pastry to fit the muffin cups. I like to make them about 2-3mm thick.

Here’s what they look like when they are ready to be filled with the egg mixture.

Fill each pastry cup with the egg mixture till it’s almost filled, but not fully.

The tarts are now ready to be baked.

Place the tarts in the oven for 20-25 mins for regular tarts, and 25-30mins for jumbo tarts. Watch the tarts.

The tarts should rise and form a very dark brown skin on the surface. That’s expected. Leave them alone. Try not to open the oven door and do not attempt to cover the tarts with aluminium foil. That would ruin the appearance of the tarts later.

As you pull the tray of the oven, jiggle it a little. If the centre of the tarts look set, then they are done. If they look like they are still liquidy, leave it in the oven for a while longer.

They are traditionally almost black on top when they are done. I’ve undercooked them a little for the sake of photography.

When the tarts are done, leave them to cool for 15 mins in the pan. The tops of the tarts will sink and the brown skin will start to crack.

Gently transfer the tarts with a offset spatula on to a cookie rack to finish off the cooling process.

Start digging into one while they are fresh and warm!

IMPORTANT NOTES -

(1) I used free range organic eggs and the tarts didn’t taste as eggy as commercial ones. If you like the strong eggy taste, try using barn (non-caged) eggs instead. I also used eggs that were categorised as “Extra Large”. They are approximately 70-75g in weight. If you use smaller eggs, just add an additional one.

(2) I used thick heavy cream. You can find it in stores in the butter/sour cream section and it’s usually labelled as double cream, thickened cream or heavy cream.

(3) Use only whole fresh milk.

(4) Use good quality frozen pastry. The kind that taste lusciously buttery are the best.

(5) Make sure your oven is efficient. It is important to have a oven that’s cooking at 200°C so that the pastry can crisp up nicely while the egg custard is cooking. The oven cannot be too hot else the top of the tarts would be burnt or too brown. Use the lowest shelf to bake in your oven. If the tops of the tarts threaten to look overly dark and the tarts don’t look done yet, change the oven settings to bottom heat only and continue to bake as per indicated time.

(6) Try NOT to open the oven to check until the tarts are done. Constant opening and closing of the oven door would cause the tarts to rise and sink, resulting in cracks on the top skin, like mine in the photos here. I couldn’t resist. I hope you can! Good luck!

(7) To warm up cold tarts, preheat the oven to 160°C and heat the tarts for 10 to 15 mins.
 

The printable version of this recipe is here -
Portuguese Egg Tarts on FoodistaPortuguese Egg Tarts

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38 Comments

  1. yum!! will try this! so if i want to make the egg white version i do the same just replace the yolks with whites right?

    • Yes, but healthy types where got nice!! Haha..

  2. Hello Bing

    I got around to baking these this morning with my kids for breakfast. It was too wet a day to go out for breakfast.
    Anyway, I didnt get the rolled pastry instead got the sheet ones – now that I think about it, I didnt see the rolled ones at the supermarket. Anyway, realising that I did not get the correct stuff, I started to panic as it had thawed and since I have only started baking last month ~ a banana cake ~ I thought I wouldnt managed.
    Ha ~ the tarts turned out well ~ at least they tasted good – to quote my 9yo son “9/10 for taste & 5/10 for looks”.
    All thanks to your well explained step by step tutorial. Will be back.
    Cheers~
    Esther

    • Hi Esther

      You did it all right! The puff pastry sheets can come in flat sheets. When they are thawed, you simply roll them up! That way, cutting them into equal pieces is easier and you created more “layers” by rolling them that way, thus getting even flakier pastry.

      I’m glad your son liked them!

      Cheers, Bing

  3. Hi Bing,

    I just tried the recipe today. I guess my oven is not working efficiently boos I put my first tray in the lowest shelf and it does not brown at all. I shifted to the mid shelf for my 2nd tray and towards the last few minutes, I switch to top fire before I can achieved the brown effect. But my ” guinea pigs” think that the custard filling is too sweet for our liking :p
    Will try again with less sugar! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Hi Yin Zu

      An efficient oven is actually critical to the success of this recipe. It has to be 200 deg C else they wouldn’t brown nicely and the custard would overcook by the time they are brown, resulting in a tough custard centre. Try upping your temperatures next time. I invested in an oven thermometer last year and discovered that most ovens are not accurate. My last 3 ovens were always short by 10 to 20 deg C. That means if I wanted 200 deg C, I actually have to turn my current oven to 220 deg C to get it to heat to 200 deg C. And the reason I said use lower shelf is because my oven in South Africa is small and middle shelf is too close to the upper heat for my liking. I will panic when the tops of the tarts turn brown too quickly. You’ll find the shelf that gives you best results without burning the tops of your tarts. =)

      Yeah, the tarts ARE sweet. My hubby loved that. But I couldn’t eat more than one without feeling je-lak. Good feedback from you.. coz I’ve included a note to add less sugar if preferred in the recipe. Thanks!

      Cheers
      Bing

  4. Hi Bing, I tried these today. They were great! I made the pastry thick cos I like pastry and added less sugar. My kids loved them. My oven was too hot I think. Or I baked too long. Cos my tarts were very brown on top, almost black. I didn’t bake on the lower shelf. :-p But they were delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe :-), keep them coming!!

    • Hi Jessica

      I’m glad you liked the recipe! I’ve included a note to add less sugar if preferred too. I think most people prefer desserts to be less sweet these days. They SHOULD be almost black on top. If I look at the Portuguese egg tarts from Madeleine in Singapore, they ARE blackish on top. But I didn’t bake mine to look that brown, because they wouldn’t look so nice in photos. I think I would do a thicker pastry next time too. The flaky pastry IS nice. =)

      Cheers
      Bing

  5. Hi Bing, sometimes the bottom pastry seems not cooked yet.. so is this ok? How do I solve this?

    I tried to cook this portugese egg tart in those small baking containers where the bottom can be removed. I guess that is not a good move, coz some of the fillings started to leak so the egg tart was quite flat. Tried 2nd time – with thicker pastry base – leaking still occurs.

    Tried 3rd time and 4th time using the mini and maxi muffin pans – great!! Bottom pastry seems still raw though..

    I am just so motivated these few days.. tried out 3 of ur dessert receipes at 2 go!! hehe =)

    Cheers,
    juskawaime

    juskawaime

    • If the bottom of your pastry tends to stay uncooked, you can try placing the baking try a level lower, so that the tray of tarts is closer to the bottom heat, or give the bottom a blast of heat by switching the oven to bottom heat only and let it bake for an extra 5 mins. Try and see!

  6. Hi Bing, thanks for sharing! Your step by step recipe is very friendly and simple, compared to others online. Could I check though, why most recipes seem to call for heating up of the custard mixture whereas yours doesn’t? Is that a step we could skip? Thank you.

    • Hi Daphne, sorry for the late reply, I was stuck in the wilderness and had no internet access for days.

      I have no idea why heating of the custard mixture is required in other recipes. If you prefer it that way, try it! Cooking/baking is all about experimenting anyways. Have fun!

      • Hi Bing,
        Thanks for replying! I tried your method, turned out fine anyway! Thanks for sharing once again :)

  7. this taste so good. my favorite one was from macau express…but now i hev to make one on my own..just fail to make the top brownish like this.

  8. Hi Karen,

    i’m living in singapore is there any place i can find frozen puff pastry? Or there’s any recipe for the pastry??

    • Frozen puff pastry is available in Cold Storage supermarkets in Singapore. I wouldn’t make it from scratch. It’s layers and layers of pastry and butter. You’ll be rolling out pastry again and again and laying out butter again and again and folding over again and again for a long time before you get puff pastry. It’s really way easier to buy ready to bake ones.

  9. Hi Bing,

    It looks like you are using equal portions of milk and cream. Would half and half work? I seldom purchase whole milk.

    • I’m not familiar with half and half but if it has the same fat content as you would have with half cream and half whole milk, then it should work.

      • Sorry Leena, I googled half and half and found out that it is actually half whole milk and half LIGHT cream. This recipe is 1 part whole milk and 1 part HEAVY cream. So if you use half and half, it would probably be too light for the custard filling.

  10. Hi~ can the heavy cream be substituted with normal whipping cream? Because i couldn’t find the heavy cream in cold storages in singapore.

    • No, it’s not the same. I think heavy cream is similar to thick cream by Bulla in Cold Storage in Singapore. Good luck!

      • Thank you, i found it in NTUC instead and i also happened to buy the bulla brand! thanks a lot ^^

        • Sorry just want to ask again, for the rolling of pastry sheet right, do you roll all 3 sheets (it comes in 3 in one package) together then slice then into pieces or just roll 1 sheet?

  11. Hi can I ask where can I get the pure vanilla essence that is shown in your photo?

    • I got it in Spar supermarket in South Africa.

      • Would you happen to know where I can get that in Singapore?

        • Hi, you can try getting Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla essence or The powder type from Phoon Huat. It is really fragrant!

  12. Hi Karen,

    I had tried to make this.
    The taste of the filling nice but then i failed to make for the puff pastry part..
    Not crispy. Isit i bought wrong puff pastry ??
    i used kawan brand (square)

    Please advise.
    I wan to do again till success.. =(

    Thanks ^^

    • Please refer to the Important Notes at the bottom of the recipe. Point (5) explains how to get the tarts crispy. Good luck!

      • Hi Karen,

        Okie, i’ll try again.
        Puff pastry have to use the ready rolled ?
        can i use de kawan brand – square (slices) and then roll it ??

        Thanks.

        • Hi Xiao Phnn, please refer to the recipe instructions. I did mention that the pastry sheets come in sheets and you can roll them up into a roll. Thanks.

          • Hi Karen,

            how to make the pastry thick ??
            is it put few rolled slices pastry ??
            the whole fresh milk is ready pack ?? can use any milk powder + water ??

            Thanks.

  13. Hi, Bing! :)

    Umm.. Where can we buy the Frozen Puff Pastry? I’m from the Phils. :)

    • I’ve always gotten my puff pastry from local supermarkets frozen section.

  14. Hi
    The custard looks great when cut very silky :)
    Tip – If you want a perfect tart please make your puff pastry and dont buy it frozen .

  15. Hi

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am wondering can I change the milk to evaporated milk for a more intense flavour? This is normally done in those traditional Chinese egg tart.

    Thanks.

  16. hi what cup did u use?? 1 cup = how many grams/how much ml??

  17. Hi Bing,
    I have tried your egg tarts recipe yesterday and they were marvellous. Thanks a lot for sharing. I have linked up your recipe in my blog post.

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  1. Portuguese Egg Tarts. | Story of Bing - [...] CLICK HERE for more photos, and for a step by step tutorial + recipe on how to make Portuguese …
  2. Portuguese Egg Tarts « bakewithloves - [...] Recipe adapted from Karen. [...]

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