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Alexandra Payne of Sweet Betweens
I grew up overseas, mostly in Asia, and I’m often craving particular dishes that are familiar to my adolescent years. On the nights I would rather wear yoga pants and fuzzy slippers, I’m usually cooking or baking in my kitchen, combining the flavor profile of typically Asian dishes with the techniques and tastes of traditional Southern plates.
Which brings me to this unique combo of two different – yet still classic – desserts from opposite ends of the globe. The Hong Kong Egg Tart is something familiar to me from my visits to the island of Macau while I lived in Hong Kong. Sweet shortbread crust, filled with a dense and rich egg custard. From traditional Southern banana pudding I borrowed the fresh slices of banana as well as homemade whipped cream. To add just a smidge more Music City flair to this dessert, I made bourbon whipped cream with some Jack Daniels and topped each tart with a brûléed banana slice.
I hope you will make these tarts and discover a treat that might become a new favorite for you and your family like it has mine!
Hong Kong-Style Bourbon Banana Pudding TartsInspired by Christine’s Recipes’ Cantonese Egg Tarts
Yield: 12 2″ tarts
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
225 grams [1 3/4 cups] unbleached, all-purpose flour
125 grams [1 stick + 1 TBSP] unsalted butter, room temperature
55 grams [1/2 cup + 1 TBSP] confectioners’ sugar, measured then sifted
1 large egg, whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
110 grams [1/2 cup + 1 TBSP] granulated cane sugar
225 grams [1 cup] hot water
85 grams [1/4 cup] evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
36 slices of banana, 3 for each tart [from about 1 1/2 bananas]
Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds/caviar scraped and set aside
2 TBSP Grade B maple syrup
2 TBSP Jack Daniels bourbon
12 slices of banana [from about 1/2 a banana]
sprinkle of dark brown sugar [scant 1/4 cup, not packed]
- Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add whisked egg to butter mixture in two batches, mixing on medium-low, ensuring egg is fully incorporated before adding next batch. Add vanilla extract and mix until just incorporated.
- Add flour in two to three batches, scraping sides of bowl down as often as needed. Mix on low until dough forms uniform ball.
- Wrap dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes while making egg custard.
- Heat water in microwave for 1 minute. Pour into heat-safe bowl and add sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Whisk egg with evaporated milk in a separate small container. Add to sugar water, slowly, whisking throughout.
- Pour egg mixture through a sieve into container with spout, making sure to separate any eggy pieces you might have in the mix.
Assembly + Baking
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Remove dough from saran wrap and divide into 12 roughly equal pieces. [I did this by weighing, or you can roll out dough to no more than 1/4″ thick and cut dough with round cutter a bit smaller than your tart tin wells.]
- Place dough into each tart tin well, pressing to the bottom and up the sides to ensure even dough placement.
- Pour egg mixture into each tart tell, stopping just under the top of the tart crust.
- Bake tarts for 10-15 minutes, until the edges of the tart crust start turning deep gold/light brown.
- Lower oven temperature to 355 F and continue to bake tarts with the oven door cracked open about 2-3 inches. Bake for 10 minutes, until custard is baked through. [Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of a tart. If it stands up on its own, the tart is done.]
- Remove tart tin from oven and let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove each tart and let continue cooling down to room temperature on a wire rack.
- While tarts are baking, whip all ingredients together until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon into piping bag [or ziploc bag fitted with pastry piping tip]. Set aside or place in refrigerator until ready to pipe and serve.
Brûléed Bananas + Final Assembly
- Just prior to serving, so that the bananas don’t brown, slice all bananas needed. Set aside 36 slices for topping the tarts. Lay out 12 slices on a metal rimmed cookie sheet. Sprinkle with dark brown sugar to preference. Heat sugar to melting with brûlée torch. Let cool.
- Top cooled tarts with 3 slices of bananas each. Pipe whipped cream and top with a slice of brûléed banana.
- Serve and enjoy!
Alexandra Payne is a Third Culture Kid trying to make her grown up way through life at her home in Nashville, TN. When not eating out with friends at her favorite neighborhood restaurants or exploring new cuisines around the corner or on the road with her husband, she can be found dancing around her dogs in the kitchen and documenting her culinary successes on her blog, SweetBetweens.