If you could have one last meal before you die, what would it be?
Well I know for a fact that the main course must must must be a piece of well marbled steak. Done medium. No sauce. As you can see there’s no room for negotiations here.
I have yet to make my mind up about the amuse-bouche, appetizer, the salad, the soup, the palate cleanser, the dessert (always the dessert), the drinks.
Perhaps when death looms, I shall make up my mind.
But I know for a fact that I must must must have Portuguese Egg Tarts. As you can see, this is also not negotiable.
But I have only truly truly eaten a Portuguese egg tart when I was in Macau two years ago at the famous Margaret’s Cafe e Nata. Each tart costs RM 4/5 if I am not mistaken.
You’ll have to wait in line for them, and the lady boss has an attitude – like the Penang charkueyteow ladies.
You, my virtual friend, will weep tears of joy.
I also mean it when I say that when asked what was the most memorable thing about Macau, I do not talk about the ruins and rich history. I do not rave about its casinos or pretty lights.
It has always been and always will be a resounding, “the egg tarts”.
And in an ideal world, I would be able to fly to Macau on a monthly basis to have this, or Margaret would open a store here in Malaysia or I would find someplace that makes something close to that life changing experience. But this isn’t an ideal world. The real world is filled with death and violence and it rains every single day so your laundry never dries doesn’t have egg tarts.
So I made my own. You can find tons of recipes online. But the one below is the best because it has four egg yolks and too much heavy cream. And also cause its my personal recipe.
Do these taste like Margaret’s? No. But it comes pretty darn close.
150ml heavy cream
100ml full cream milk
3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1 1/2 tbsp fine caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a sauce pan, bring cream and milk to barely a simmer (small bubbles at the side of the pan!)
2. Add in sugar and stir until all is dissolved.
3. Beat your eggs in a separate bowl. Add a little of the cream/milk mixture while stirring* Keep adding gradually and stirring until your mixture comes together.
4. Add in your vanilla extract. Leave aside to cool completely
5. Butter your muffin pan and line it with puff pastry. It should come up to the side to form a ‘cup’ (Not too thick, or the pastry won’t cook)
6. Divide your yolk mixture evenly into your pastry cups.
7. Bake at 200C for 20 minutes.
8. If you like the caramelized bits on top, put it under your broiler for a minute or so. (Keep a close eye on them!)
9. Serve warm (or immediately if you want to burn the roof of your tongue and fingers).
10. Proceed with the falling to your knees and weeping part.
*This is called ‘tempering’. if you pour the hot mixture directly into your eggs, you risk scrambling them – which is yummy, but doesn’t make good egg tarts – by pouring it in gradually, you bring the temperature of the eggs up, to match that of the hot mixture. When the eggs are up to temperature, you can pour the rest in and end up with a beautiful, rich, smooth custard!