What is “dan tat“, you ask?
When I was growing up, my parents, sisters, and I would visit our family in Toronto a few times a year. While I most looked forward to playing with my cousins and seeing our grandparents, I always had a special place in my heart for dan tat, a.k.a. egg custard tarts. If you have Asian blood in you, you know what I mean. My aunt knows my love of dan tat, so she always had a box of them whenever we stayed over in her apartment. I could eat three dan tat in one sitting. I jest not. They are about 4 – 5 inches in diameter, so they ain’t tiny.
I’ve been wanting to make dan tat for a long time, so with my upcoming trip to China, I figured now would be a great time. I scoured the Internet for a good recipe and discovered this somewhat complicated recipe from Edible Memories. Achieving a true flaky pastry is a hallmark of dan tat and requires extra effort that I did not
feel like exerting have time for, SO … easy Jessified pastry it is!
Dan Tat (Egg Custard Tart)
Adapted from Edible Memories
Makes 30 mini dan tat or 10-15 regular sized dan tat
2 cups flour
12 tbsp butter, cold (1.5 sticks)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg, gently beaten
3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
1/3 cup sugar
splash vanilla extract
If you have a food processor, add butter, flour, and sugar and pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Alternatively, you can sift the flour and sugar together and work the butter in with your fingers. Don’t let the butter get too warm!
Pour about 1 Tbsp of cold water into flour and butter mixture and stir, either with a spoon or with the food processor. Continue to add water in small increments and stir until the dough pulls together.
Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and put in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling. To make the filling, stir together the filling ingredients until well combined and there are no yolk streaks.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Flour a cutting board and place your chilled dough on it. Roll out dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut out circles of dough.
Place dough circles into foil or paper-lined muffin tins and press down gently. I used a mini muffin tin so that I could eat three tarts without feeling like a puffed up dan tat.
Fill dough cups about 3/4 full with egg filling. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until egg filling gets puffy.
Aren’t they beautiful?
Look at that flaky pastry!
Yum, yum, and more yum! I haven’t had dan tat in a few years, so these bite-sized egg tarts were just what I needed. So easy, and so delicious. They taste like sweet egg custard, but very mild. They’re not too eggy because the filling is mostly milk. Smooth and sweet. I highly recommend them!
Other than making dan tat and working, I’ve been preparing for my upcoming trip to China. I won’t show you my pile of stuff that I have to cull, but I will show you an essential (recommended by my professor):
Peter keeps hinting that he’s going to let our dogs do anything they want while I’m gone. So, I imagine that there will be a lot of this happening:
(Yes, Maddie is IN the dishwasher.)
I guess I know who will be the taskmaster when we have kids.
Have a great evening, everyone!
Q: Do you have a favorite childhood food that brings back memories?