Chinese egg custard tarts (dan tat) are a classic desert dim sum dish with a flaky puff pastry crust holding a warm, mildly sweet custard filling. The sweet filling is typically made from eggs, milk, and sugar but you may see variations in custard ingredients.
The best egg custard tarts will still be warm from the oven with a crust so flaky that the layers will sometimes separate as you eat it. The flakier the crust, the better and fresher the egg tart. Look for the custard filling to be firm but not dense. A runny texture is not good. And the custard should be mildly sweet so that the flavors of the eggs and milk are not overpowered.
Egg custard tarts come in two sizes, small and large. Both are excellent. The smaller tarts will expose more of the flavors of the flaky crust. With the larger tarts, you’ll get more custard filling in each bite. As a kid, I recall eating egg custard tarts with a spoon so I could savor each bite.
Egg custard tarts are amazing when they are fresh from the oven. But when they get cold, the pastry crust tends to get dense, losing its flaky texture. They don’t keep well in the refrigerator so eat them when they are fresh!