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Dang Tarts!

What's your favorite dim sum dish? Ask any self respecting dim-summer and 9 times out of 10 they'll tell you daan taats. Darn what? You ask. Daan taats - those yummy, sunny yellow, egg custardy concoctions with the flaky crust, pure bliss I tell you! They're usually served alongside other sweets and pastries on the dessert cart during dim sum, but I don't know anybody that saves them for dessert.

I thought I'd give a try at baking these at home. The custard part tastes close to the real thing, unfortch I can't seem to get the pastry crust right. Twice, I've made these in mini muffin pans and although the crust isn't flaky, these little pastries still go fast:


For these daan taats I used the simplest recipe I could find online

Egg Custard Tarts
From "Dim Sum" by Rhoda Yee


Tart Pastry:
1/4 c Butter
1/4 c Lard (Note: I substituted with Crisco shortening... maybe reason why crust isnt turning out flaky)
1 Egg
6 tb Sugar
2 c Sifted all purpose flour.

Egg Custard Filling:
2 Whole extra large eggs
3 Extra large egg yolks
1 c Whole milk
1/2 c Half and half
1 c Sugar

For pastry tart shell:
Cream the butter with lard. Add egg and sugar. Beat well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. The dough will be mealy. Work quickly with your hands to gather dough into a ball. Knead lightly so the mixture adheres. You may chill it at this point while making the filling.

For Egg Custard Filling:
Be sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. Beat whole eggs at low speed with egg yolks well. Do not over beat, add sugar, then milk, then half and half. Let mixture rest 10 - 15 minutes. Skim foam from mixture.

Separate dough into 24 ball. Press each into 2 1/2 inch tart shell to an even layer across the bottom and all the way up the side. Fill shell with filling almost to the top. Preheat oven to 300. Place tarts on cooky sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Loosen slightly by inserting a toothpick along the sides. Tart shell should unmold easily.

Rhoda Yees comments: It is important that the ingredients for the filling be at room temperature and beaten over a bowl of warm water. Cold ingredients will cause filling to separate during baking. By skimming off the foam, the custard will have a golden, creamy appearance with a velvety smooth texture which is a most unique and delightful gastronomic treat! Do not bake at high heat, this will cause the custard to bubble up like a balloon and burst.


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