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Dan Tart Cook-off I

Chinese

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119 replies to this topic

#1 Dejah

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 08:12 PM

This thread is for Dan Tart, or Chinese egg custard tart.

Are you using puff pastry, 2 dough pastry, pie pastry?

How do you keep the custard from boiling over?

Do you keep a pan of water in the oven during the baking step?

Show all! Tell everything! No secrets allow among eGulleteers. :angry: :biggrin:
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#2 snowangel

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 08:45 PM

What's 2 dough pastry?

Think it's time I dug out my Wei Chuan and Pei Mei cookbooks (I own full collection).
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#3 Dejah

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 08:52 PM

What's 2 dough pastry?

Think it's time I dug out my Wei Chuan and Pei Mei cookbooks (I own full collection).

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Snowangel,

I have been checking out my Pei Mei's Volume II. She calls them the inside and outside layer.

Wei Chuan calls them water-shortening dough and flaky dough.

BTW, how many volumes are there for Pei Mei?
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#4 sheetz

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 09:56 PM

Could someone post the Pei Mei recipe? Thanks.

#5 torakris

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 10:47 PM

do we get kicked out for using frozen? :huh:

can frozen pastry dough even be used for these??

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#6 Tepee

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 11:57 PM

This is the site of a very good e-friend, Joanne. I don't know how she did her site but I can't seem to get the urls to the specific recipes. Anyway, just click 'chinese dim sum, pastries and desserts' on the left menu. You'll see the 2 dough pastry/chinese pastry. There's also a how-to for siu mai/shao mai.
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#7 Dejah

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 07:59 AM

do we get kicked out for using frozen? :huh:

can frozen pastry dough even be used for these??

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I have recipes that use a short pastry. I am sure frozen would work, but you may not achieve that layered flaky tart shell...me thinks...
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#8 torakris

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:37 PM

I found a recipe in Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corrine Tran and the pastry recipe actually looks easy enough for me to try. :biggrin:

Next question....
I just realized that these things are made in little fluted tins tins which I don't have...
anyway to get around this? :huh:
I may have to go to the store on Monday.

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#9 SuzySushi

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:47 PM

I found a recipe in Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corrine Tran and the pastry recipe actually looks easy enough for me to try. :biggrin:

Next question....
I just realized that these things are made in little fluted tins tins which I don't have...
anyway to get around this? :huh:
I may have to go to the store on Monday.

View Post

I have a bunch of fluted tins that are too small for the recipe (more like candy tins!) and others that are too large and sloped (mini brioche pans). I think I'm going to use my muffin pans! Okay, so they aren't fluted, but I can put the finished products into cupcake papers and they'll look reasonably like the real thing. :wacko:
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#10 torakris

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:49 PM

I found a recipe in Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corrine Tran and the pastry recipe actually looks easy enough for me to try. :biggrin:

Next question....
I just realized that these things are made in little fluted tins tins which I don't have...
anyway to get around this? :huh:
I may have to go to the store on Monday.

View Post

I have a bunch of fluted tins that are too small for the recipe (more like candy tins!) and others that are too large and sloped (mini brioche pans). I think I'm going to use my muffin pans! Okay, so they aren't fluted, but I can put the finished products into cupcake papers and they'll look reasonably like the real thing. :wacko:

View Post


do you think they will work in muffin tins? I have muffin tins, mini muffin tins and popover tins.....

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#11 sheetz

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:51 PM

Some of the high end dim sum restaurants make very tiny sized egg tarts, roughly the size of mini muffins.

#12 SuzySushi

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:55 PM

do you think they will work in muffin tins? I have muffin tins, mini muffin tins and popover tins.....

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I don't see why not... I'll press the pastry about halfway up the sides to compensate for the greater depth. They might be a little harder to unmold than individual tins, but the recipe I have calls for lining up the individual tins on a baking sheet anyway. Can't hurt to try it! That'll be my experiment, anyway.
SuzySushi

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#13 Dejah

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:11 PM

I will be using muffin tins, regular size ones. There is enough "fat" in the pastry that unmolding shouldn't be a problem. Having said that.... :unsure:
Dejah
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#14 torakris

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:14 PM

thanks guys, muffin tins it is!

you just saved me some money..... :biggrin:

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#15 jschyun

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 08:51 PM

Yeah, I use muffin tins for all sorts of little tarts including these cute little key lime tarts that nobody guesses were formed from muffin tins. The only reason why I wouldn't use it for dan tat is that I wouldn't know how to get it out of hte pan easily, but if you can figure it out, I'd love to hear about it.

So about the two dough pastry, I have never been privy to a professional kitchen but it seems to me that they take long layers of dough and fold each of the two doughs over each other until they have a bunch of layers. Then I am guessing they stamp out each individual tart. Then maybe they reuse the trimmings as base for the shortening dough or something. The fact that you can see the layers on the cooked product suggests this manner of production to me. What do you think? I personally think the Wei-Chuan recipe is a crock of **** but gives hints to what I think we're actually supposed to be doing.

Actually, I don't think using fluted tins is right either. They have to be round little baby pie pan thingies, I thought, the better to show off the many layers of the crust, right?

Edited by jschyun, 15 April 2005 - 08:53 PM.

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#16 SuzySushi

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 09:37 PM

Actually, I don't think using fluted tins is right either.  They have to be round little baby pie pan thingies, I thought, the better to show off the many layers of the crust, right?

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When I've bought dan tat for takeout, they've been in little foil pie pans & look like the pastry was rolled out the cut with a fluted biscuit cutter.
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#17 hzrt8w

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 11:33 PM

If you can read Chinese, here is a recipe of Dan Tart in Leisure-Cat.com:

http://www.leisure-c...om/frm_1176.htm
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#18 sheetz

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 02:31 PM

Yeah, I use muffin tins for all sorts of little tarts including these cute little key lime tarts that nobody guesses were formed from muffin tins. The only reason why I wouldn't use it for dan tat is that I wouldn't know how to get it out of hte pan easily, but if you can figure it out, I'd love to hear about it.


If the crust is sturdy enough it should be easy enough to lift out. If not, maybe you could line the muffin cups with foil and use the foil to lift them out.

So about the two dough pastry, I have never been privy to a professional kitchen but it seems to me that they take long layers of dough and fold each of the two doughs over each other until they have a bunch of layers.  Then I am guessing they stamp out each individual tart.  Then maybe they reuse the trimmings as base for the shortening dough or something.  The fact that you can see the layers on the cooked product suggests this manner of production to me.  What do you think?  I personally think the Wei-Chuan recipe is a crock of **** but gives hints to what I think we're actually supposed to be doing.


Right now I'm guessing it's similar to a French puff pastry, but with fewer folds so that the layers are still distinct. I was hoping someone would post the Pei Mei recipe because I remember she does something similar. Anyone?

#19 sheetz

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 02:36 PM

If you can read Chinese, here is a recipe of Dan Tart in Leisure-Cat.com:

http://www.leisure-c...om/frm_1176.htm



Um, not NEARLY enough. lol I can sort of make out the ingredient list. Let's see, the dough has an "oil skin" part and a "water skin" part. The oil skin has flour, butter, and lard. The water skin has flour, egg, and water. Can't read the directions.

#20 Transparent

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 11:18 PM

Ohh, dan tart. I'd really like to make this, but my parents have explicitly told me not to make it. "Why make something so cheap?" Honestly, they're the most expensive item (by weight/size) in bakeries, at the same price as a bun. I even have these strange tart/brioche hybrid tins that I could use for some enormongous* dan tart.

*Not a real word

#21 Dejah

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 07:21 AM

Ohh, dan tart. I'd really like to make this, but my parents have explicitly told me not to make it. "Why make something so cheap?" Honestly, they're the most expensive item (by weight/size) in bakeries, at the same price as a bun. I even have these strange tart/brioche hybrid tins that I could use for some enormongous* dan tart.

*Not a real word

View Post


Go ahead and make these "enormongous" dan tarts anyway! The size would be like the custard pies we bought in England. Most people would share one among 4 friends. I ate a whole one by myself! But then, that was when I was pregnant and ate alot. :wink:
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#22 Dejah

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 12:33 PM

I made my first batch of dan tart, and was very disappointed in the results. I used a recipe from Wei-Chuan's Chinese Dim sum book.

I actually followed the recipe( for the first time in my life without wavering) to a gram by using a newly purchased electronic scale. Followed the instructions carefully, but it must be my technique in rolling the dough with the two layers.

The filling was a terrible colour...very pale yellow with a greyish tinge. Did not look appetizing at all. It used eggs, water and sugar.

I tasted 1/4 of one, and man! The pastry was chewy on the bottom inspite of having layers.

The instructions said to crimp the edges, so I did. Can't see any layers when you do that.

So, I have another recipe done up and 12 are now in the oven. This is a recipe by Rhonda Yee. She uses a recipe with butter and lard...single layer. None of this outsy and innsy stuff. The filling called for eggs, milk and half'n'half. I thought the colour was still too pale, so for 3 of the tarts, I added the tiniest dab of yellow cake decorating colour.

We'll see what happens. I took pictures of the process from the first batch, and the rexults before I threw them into the garbage. The seond batch, I didn't take pictures of the process but I will post the results.

"sigh" :unsure:
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#23 sheetz

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 12:55 PM

Dejah, sorry to hear about your problems. Based on my past experience making custard pies, I think these are going to be a bit tricky.

Edited by sheetz, 17 April 2005 - 12:56 PM.


#24 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:05 PM

.....The filling was a terrible colour...very pale yellow with a greyish tinge. Did not look appetizing at all. It used eggs, water and sugar.
.....
The filling called for eggs, milk and half'n'half. I thought the colour was still too pale, so for 3 of the tarts, I added the tiniest dab of yellow cake decorating colour.
.....

View Post

Did you use only egg york or both egg york and egg white in making the filling?

I think egg tarts are very difficult to make well. That's why I am disappointed by many Chinese bakeries in my neighborhood. May be they have the same issues.

Keep trying. I am sure you can make some good ones in the end.

I understand tarts are western bakery concepts. But are Egg Tarts a unique Hong Kongers' creation? Anybody knows?

Edited by hzrt8w, 17 April 2005 - 04:06 PM.

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#25 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:14 PM

I actually followed the recipe( for the first time in my life without wavering) to a gram by using a newly purchased electronic scale. Followed the instructions carefully, but it must be my technique in rolling the dough with the two layers.

View Post

There are so many recipes out there in making tarts.

Can you describe the recipe that you were following where the result was not up to par?
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#26 torakris

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 05:38 PM

my pastry recipe (ok, Corrine Trang's) is very simple, mix the flour, salt and lard together until loose crumbs form then add a bit of milk and mix until it just holds togther. Then chill, until chilled :blink: and roll to an 1/8 inch thickness and cut into circles...

Her egg part consists of whole eggs, whole milk, sugar and vanilla extract.
I will be making them today. :biggrin:

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#27 SuzySushi

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 06:31 PM

So, I have another recipe done up and 12 are now in the oven. This is a recipe by Rhonda Yee. She uses a recipe with butter and lard...single layer. None of this outsy and innsy stuff. The filling called for eggs, milk and half'n'half. I thought the colour was still too pale, so for 3 of the tarts, I added the tiniest dab of yellow cake decorating colour.

We'll see what happens. I took pictures of the process from the first batch, and the rexults before I threw them into the garbage. The seond batch, I didn't take pictures of the process but I will post the results.

"sigh"    :unsure:

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So? How did the second batch turn out? I was planning to use the Rhoda Yee recipe.
SuzySushi

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#28 SuzySushi

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 06:35 PM

I understand tarts are western bakery concepts.  But are Egg Tarts a unique Hong Kongers' creation?  Anybody knows?

View Post

I seem to remember reading/hearing somewhere that the Chinese egg tarts were developed under British rule in Hong Kong as an offshoot of English custard tarts. And suddenly, what I knew as "don tot" made sense as "tart"! They're also popular in Singapore & Malaysia, so it's possible they started as a Western concept there...
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#29 Dejah

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 09:21 PM

Well, it's been one long day with these da** tarts. Needless to say, I won't be making these again anytime soon, unless someone gives me a "no-fail flaky-layers, just like the dim sum chefs recipe"! :wacko:
Here's hoping the images will load! May just end up as links, but I am too beat to try to figure this image posting thingie!

The first batch, I used a recipe from Wei-Chuan. I bought a whole can of evaporated milk only to use 1 tbsp in the outer dough! The dough worked easily but did not give me the desired results. The filling was very disappointing. I should have realized because it only called for water, 5 eggs and sugar. The photos in the book showed crimping along the tart edges, so I did. Like I said, I followed the directions exactly. This dozen went into the garbage!

Egg Tarts: Double Layer Pastry
http://forums.egulle...8_1102_7319.jpg

Egg Tarts: First Dozen Pre-Baked
http://forums.egulle...38_1102_991.jpg

Egg Tarts: First Dozen Baked
http://forums.egulle..._1102_27221.jpg

The second dozen, I used a recipe by Rhoda Yee. It was a short pastry of 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup lard, 1 egg and 6 tbsp sugar. The filling was more like what I thought egg custard should be...at least similar to English custard. It called for 2 whole extra large eggs, 3 extra large egg yolks, 1 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup half and half, and 1 cup sugar. Look out arteries! :blink:

The end result was more like an English custard tart than the classic Chinese dan tart.
The filling was wonderful, silky. The shell like a piece of short bread. I thought the colour was a bit pale so I added a dab of yellow food colouring in the filling for 3 tarts. Nah...too much like lemon tart in colour.

Egg Tarts: Second Dozen Baked
http://forums.egulle...8_1102_8663.jpg

Rhoda's recipe was for 24 tarts. I rolled out 7 more out of her pastry recipe, then cut out 5 from frozen puff pastry to see what would happen. Definitely DO NOT USE PUFF PASTRY for dan tart.

Egg Tarts: Third Dozen Baked
http://forums.egulle..._1102_29182.jpg

I tasted 1/4 section of each dozen. Rhoda's filling was the best, although I might reduce the sugar in the custard by a couple tbsps.

We are not allowing ourselves any sugar or flour at the moment, I took the last 2 dozen tarts down to different neighbors on our street. (Other than the puff pastry ones!) I also left some in my office fridge for our secretary and Chinese students who did not go home for this short break.

Tomorrow...onto something I know more about. ..siu mai!
Dejah
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#30 sheetz

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 11:05 PM

I understand tarts are western bakery concepts.  But are Egg Tarts a unique Hong Kongers' creation?  Anybody knows?


The story I heard is that they are based on the Portuguese custard tarts and were first introduced to HK via Macao.

Definitely DO NOT USE PUFF PASTRY for dan tart.


Can you tell us what the end result was? I'm guessing that a puff pastry-like dough must be used in order to get a flaky layered result but that the pastry must be blind baked before the filling is added.





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