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Jan 1, 2010 01:29 AM

how to make egg tarts from Emperor's Garden Chinatown

I've tried many many egg tarts and have made them myself but there's something different about the egg tarts from the Emperor's Garden Chinatown because their custard tastes really different so I was wondering if anyone knows what kind of ingredients they put. I've tried making the filling with milk and different ones with thickened cream and I've seen recipes that use evaporated and condensed milk so who knows if these different liquids make a difference? And what's the secret ingredient to the custard??


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  1. Never been to Emperor's Garden, but having made egg tarts quite often (at home and at our old restaurants), aside from milk, sugar and water are you adding vanilla extract into your egg filling mixture?

    Also, maybe Emperor's Garden is making Portuguese style egg tarts, in which case you would want to add whipping cream to the egg mixture, but everything else basically remains the same.

    1. The Portuguese have the Chinese beat here when it comes to egg custard tarts. Search recipes for pastel de nata, and one of them might hold that secret ingredient you are looking for. The Chinese tarts are too bland IMO.

      Portuguese one -->

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cheese Boy


        Around here where I have access to bakeries from NYC's Chinatown .....and Newark's IronBound section.....I am no stranger to either ethnic's baked goods. While I can appreciate both.....the Chinese goods are far superior in the pastry department from my experience.....but with thaqt said, it all depends on the bakeries and the quality of ingredients used. For both, I have had inferior baked well as excellent ones.

        btw....the picture of the tart look great...but I have never been able to find anything like that in the Ironbound section. That does look like some serious flaky pastry.

      2. lumalu,

        If their custard tastes very different, then maybe that restaurant uses lard to make custard.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          OMG i hope they aren't because they are sooo yummy and addictive.
          ipsedixit and cheese boy, the ones they are selling are not portugeuse tarts because they don't have the caramelised tops but then again they could have made it without it
          when i inspect the custard, it seems that they have this transparent layer of liquid on top yet it isn't runny when you tilt it. I was thinking maybe they added sugar syrup halfway through baking but the custard isn't overly sweet either.
          i've added vanilla extract and whipping cream to my tarts before but they aren't the same as Emperor Garden's, I found them dense and runnier than the simple milk, eggs, sugar mixture which is stil currently my homemade favourite...
          but I still want to try to make Emperor Garden's ones because I know my mum likes egg tarts a lot=D just need to find out the ingredients they use...

          1. re: lumalu

            Check out this recipe.
            The author talks about how to get the custard top you're trying to achieve.

            My opinion on stuff like this is either go and ask for the recipe or just buy them, it's cheaper and less of a headache.

            1. re: lumalu

              Monku corrected me. Lard could have been used for the shell/crust. Lard could have been used for the custard as well, but doubtful and won't make a huge difference.

              Lard is not as unhealthy as you think. Pound of pound, lard is healthier than butter. Lard has less cholesterol and less saturated fats.

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Lard for the custard?....I don't think so. Definitely for the pastry shell for the flakey crust.

              1. re: monku


                You are right. Somehow I was thinking about the pastry shell.

            3. Maybe coconut milk to replace all or part of the milk?