Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chinese egg tarts and a trip to Shanghai

Today I am bringing you a souvenir-dish from my recent trip to Shanghai. My first encounter with Chinese egg tarts was at a Dim Sum restaurant. I fell in love with them ever since, but I have never made them myself, since they were so easily available in Canada. I also didn't think they are so easy to make. Often the pastry dough is made with lard, but I just used regular butter puff pastry. Egg tarts are most popular in Hong Kong, but I was also happy to see them for sale in Shanghai.

It was my first trip to China, and I was totally overwhelmed by this city. The city was very impressive and there were many things to see. On one hand it is very modern, with new ultra-chic skyscrapers being built constantly and endless shopping possibilities, but on the other hand there is still a very traditional side, with old temples and people doing Tai Chi in the park each morning. I took almost 2000 pictures, and it took me some time to go through them all. I have included a small selection here to share my experiences with you.

My favorite past time was to stroll around the city in the morning. You can see people practicing Tai Chi on the streets, play cards, ballroom dancing in the park or just meet for a chat. Everybody seemed very relaxed and very friendly and curious to me. It was really exciting to see how energetic these people are and how much fun they have even at such early hours.

The food in Shanghai was also amazing. I love Chinese food and I also know many authentic dishes from my husband and his side of the family. But the choices, variety and quality of the food in Shanghai were simply endless. Whether it is street food or gourmet restaurant dishes everything tasted incredible, and the prices were still very reasonable.

Opposite to all the hustle and bustle you can still find peace and quiet, for example in one of the many temples. It is nice change in scenery and I enjoyed visiting them very much. If you happen to be at the Longhua Temple around lunch time be sure to try their vegetarian noodle soup. It is extremely delicious.

I didn't really know what to expect before we went, but I was pleasantly surprised. I hope to return to Shanghai soon for another exciting visit.

But this was not the whole trip; I will tell you about our next destination in another post.

Chinese egg tarts

- makes about 24 egg tarts -

450 g puff pastry dough (home-made or store bought)

3 eggs
70 g sugar
60 g evaporated milk
200 g water

Preheat oven to 240°C (475°F). Grease two 12-cup muffin pans with melted butter.

Roll out the puff pastry and cut out round shapes with a fluted edged pastry cutter to fit the muffin cups. Put one round into each muffin mold.

With a whisk mix all the ingredients for the custard together. Pour the custard onto the puff pastry in the muffin pan. Be careful to not overfill.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the custard sets and the dough is golden brown.

The egg tarts are best enjoyed on the same day and still warm from the oven.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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