The egg tart (simplified Chinese: 蛋挞; traditional Chinese: 蛋撻; pinyin: dàntǎ (in Mandarin); Jyutping: daan6 taat1; Cantonese Yale: daahn tāat) is a kind of custard tart found in Portugal, Macau, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, and various Asian countries. The dish consists of an outer pastry crust filled with egg custard. Egg tarts are often served at dim sum restaurants and cha chaan tengs.
|Main ingredients||Flour, butter, sugar, egg, custard, milk|
|Variations||Pasteis de nata|
|Literal meaning||egg tart|
The Chinese egg tart was developed in the early 20th century in the city of Guangzhou and is derived from the English custard tart and the Portuguese pastel de nata. As Guangzhou's economy grew from trade and interaction with Britain, pastry chefs at the Western-style department stores in the city were asked to invent new pastries weekly to attract customers from competitors. The Chinese egg tart, featuring a lard-based puff pastry crust and a filling similar to steamed egg pudding (燉蛋), was invented by a department store for one of these "Weekly Special" competitions.
Egg tarts were introduced to Hong Kong via Guangzhou in the 1940s but initially could only be found in higher-end Western-style restaurants. In the 1960s, cha chaan tengs began to serve egg tarts, popularizing the pastry with the working-class Hong Kong population.
Hong Kong egg tarts are typically smaller and served in twos or threes, in contrast to the original Guangzhou egg tarts which were larger and could be served as a single item. The custard filling may be flavored with chocolate, green tea, abalone or bird's nest, and the outer shell may be made with shortcrust pastry or puff pastry.
In 1989, British pharmacist Andrew Stow and his wife Margaret Wong opened Lord Stow's Bakery in Coloane, where they sold a Macau-style egg tart that attempted to recreate the pastel de nata. This variation is referred to in Chinese as "po tat" ("Portuguese tart"). In 1999, Wong sold the recipe to KFC, which then introduced the Macau-style egg tart to other Asian countries including Singapore and Taiwan.
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