Jun 7, 2009

Vegan Taiwanese "Egg" Tarts

I grew up eating egg tarts on special occasions, or when I visited San Francisco's China Town. The most common ones have a very thick, flaky crust with a very "eggy" custard in the middle. These originated in Hong Kong, and became popular in China and Taiwan. The Portuguese also have their version, which incorporates a more creamy custard that is torched on top like a brulee.
This version is one that seems to have been adapted by the Taiwanese. It has a thinner, cookie-like crust. To be honest, I've never tried these before, and only saw photos of them (I've only seen the Chinese versions here in the States).

To make these a bit healthier, I used the low fat pie crust recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan, making some adjustments and substituting the vegetable oil with coconut oil, hoping to get a nicer texture. They turned out delicious, especially the next day. To make the filling taste "eggy," I used coconut cream, which also makes this rather rich. If you can't find coconut cream (I found it in the Asian market), you can try using coconut milk, but you may need to increase the starch.

Crust Recipe:

1 C. unbleached all purpose flour
1 C. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 C. coconut oil
1/2 C. soy milk with 1 tsp. lemon juice added
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar

Roll it out very thin, and cut out circles to fit in the bottoms of your muffin tins. I used my biscuit cutters.

Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray before placing the circles into the bottoms. Next, roll out thin strips (about 1 1/2" wide) to line the sides as shown below.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, then pull out to cool.

Coconut Custard Recipe:

1 pkg silken tofu (1 lb.)- the kind sold in the plastic tub with water
1 can coconut cream (14 oz.)
1/4 - 1/2 C. confectioner's sugar to desired sweetness
1 T. cornstarch
pinch of tumeric to desired color (optional)

Taiwanese desserts are typically not very sweet, so you can adjust the sugar to the amount you like. This filling could be a great pudding if you heat it on the stove (until just heated through) and let cool in the fridge.

Pour the custard into each muffin tin to almost the top of the crusts. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until they look set and tops are puffy. Let cool and chill in the fridge. You can eat these at room temp, but like I said, they were better the next day after chilling.

This made about 15 tarts.


  1. this is awesome! i love that you are veganizing some great traditional recipes. it's my favorite part of cooking (well, besides the actual cooking itself). is there a cookbook in your future?

  2. A book would be great! If only I could fit it in my schedule...

  3. wow, i'm really impressed you could make these without eggs

  4. Wow !!! Thanks alot, I will try out this recipe. My daughther loves egg tarts. We are all strict vegatarians. Finally just found this recipe of yours. Thanks a million again for sharing it.

  5. Thanks so much!! This recipe is awesome. My best friend loved these egg tarts when we were younger, and I'm soo glad I can make a vegan version. :)

  6. Hi there!

    I've tried your recipe, but it didn't work out :( It must be the turmeric that overpowers the coconut filling.


    Taiwan Vegan