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5 from 4 votes

Vegan Egg Tarts (Hong-Kong style)

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese, Yum Cha
Servings: 16 tarts

Ingredients

Chinese-style shortcrust pastry

  • 1 ¾ cups (220g) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • cup (150g) vegan block butter (1), chilled, plus extra for greasing the tins
  • cup (35g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp (10g) coconut milk powder, or extra flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp evaporated coconut milk, or soy milk or water

Vegan Egg Custard

  • 3 ½ tbsp (25g) vegan-friendly custard powder (2)
  • 2 ¼ cups (565g) unsweetened soy milk
  • ¾ cup (190g) evaporated coconut milk, or more soy milk but the evaporated milk makes the egg tarts silkier!
  • ½ cup (100g) cane sugar, or a little more to taste
  • ¾ tsp agar powder
  • Pinch of black salt (kala namak), for the eggy flavour, to taste
  • Pinch of turmeric, to colour (3)

Instructions

  • I'd strongly recommend using grams (and teaspoons for the smaller amounts) rather than cups for this recipe (especially for the custard)!

Making the pastry:

  • Use a pastry brush to liberally grease your small tart tins with melted butter.
  • Add all the pastry ingredients to a food processor and pulse until just combined. If your pastry is too soft to be rolled out, place it in an airtight container and chill it in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pastry to about 5 mm thick (a little less than ¼ inch). Using a circular cookie cutter slightly larger than your tart tins (my cutter was 9 cm or 3.5 inches wide), cut rounds out from the pastry.
  • Transfer the pastry rounds to your tart tins and press the pastry against the bottom and sides. If there are any holes, patch them up with more pastry.
  • To prepare for blind baking, place similar or smaller sized tart or cupcake tins on top. See the blog post for a visual guide on blind baking hacks! Chill the pastry shells in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Baking the pastry shells:

  • When you're ready to bake the shells, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). When the oven is ready, bake the shells for around 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  • Set aside to cool. Remove the blind baking tins when the tarts are completely cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge until needed.

Making the vegan egg custard:

  • In a small bowl, combine the custard powder and a few tablespoons of soy milk until there are no lumps.
  • Add all the custard ingredients to a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk consistently while the custard heats up. Gently boil the custard for about 3-5 minutes then remove from the heat.
  • Your custard may have little clumps or bubbles throughout. If so, place a sieve over a wide pouring jug and carefully pour the hot custard in the sieve. The leftover custard should be smooth and free from bubbles.
  • Place all your baked tart shells (while they're still in their tins) on a large tray or in a container. Gently pour the custard into each tart shell. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes then transfer them to the fridge for 1-2 hours or until set. The tarts will also set at room temperature but the fridge speeds up the process.
  • The tarts are set if you can insert a toothpick in the middle and the toothpick stands by itself. The tarts are ready to serve! The tarts can be kept at room temperature for a few hours before serving. Alternatively, store the egg tarts in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Lard and shortening are used in traditional egg tarts so I'd highly recommend vegan block butter. If you don't have access to vegan block butter, vegan spreadable butter (margarine) will also work. Just add a few more tablespoons of flour to make your dough firmer.
  2. I'm based in Australia and used 'Foster Clarks' custard powder which is a mainstream supermarket brand and accidentally vegan. This has the same ingredients as other mainstream brands around the world such as Bird's Custard Powder so I assume they work exactly the same!
  3. If you add your turmeric at the beginning, the colour will intensify when it's heated up! I'd recommend only a very small pinch of turmeric to start and add more if desired.
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