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Friday, September 16, 2005

SHF - Cooking up Custard EGG TARTS


My first SHF!!! Yeyse!!! And on a subject I hold close to my heart too.

Before that, a note to Caryn - still working on the meme, babe! Actually thought of doing this for the meme but it works for SHF too ;-) so will post other things for the food meme.

I grew up in the Malaysian part of Borneo and my paternal grandmother was a food snob. She doesn't cook and when she does, it is a very rare treat. She did however have a batallion of staff and a Chinese cook. One of the joy of childhood was going to my grandma's very Sunday for a round of dim sum, prepared by her chef. And one of the dim sums served for dessert was this - the egg tarts... and not just any egg tarts. My grandma's egg tarts.

I was reading the comments in Elise's post about the SHF18 and thought to myself - good god... custard powder in custard? My grandma must be rolling in her grave.

Unlike my grandma, I don't have a batallion of staff to run things for me and neither do I have a chinese cook. And over the years I have been trying to simplify a lot of the cooking I learned from childhood and adapt them to the local flavour wherever I live and I once made the mistake of serving my grandma egg tarts made with custard powder!

"Nenek (the Malay word for grandma), look at this it is quick - you don't have to wait for the eggs to set and it works!" I was 22 then...

"Custard powder? Do you think we don't have custard powder here? This is sacrilledge. The eggs will set if you make the custard properly. This is a dish that has to be cooked with love and patience. If you have to cook it with custard powder, you might as well go and eat them at the bakery."

So she sat me down and showed me - how to make the perfect puff pastry, how to make the custards and how to bake the egg tarts so they turned out just right.

I sometimes cheat by using store bought puff pastry. As I did here by using the puff pastry from one of my artisan baker friends. The egg tarts turned out to be gorgeous with butter and flaky-crisp pastry filled with light, rich, sweet, eggy and creamy custard.

The recipe for this wonderful dish can be found here. Please check the other goodies from all the participants here:-).

note: recipe will be posted later, I just want to post this to qualify for the SHF today - there is a little accident in the house - my daughter broke her foot today and the afternoon was spent in emergency room, getting xrays done and her leg and foot in plaster!
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