The thought of skipping the book club never did enter my mind. After all, one of the components of the club is the potluck where each attendee cooks or brings a dish inspired by the book.
What to bring? I knew the hostess-with-the-mostest, Naomi of Gastrognome, would be making the Dan Dan Noodles, and there was some talk of grilled lamb skewers with cumin and stir-fried eggplant. I thought something sweet would round up the meal nicely. Unfortunately, the book itself did not have a dessert recipe, so I turned to the world of on-line research. Googling "Sichuan dessert recipes" led me to the Rasa Malaysia site and a simple recipe for Portuguese Egg Tarts.
Portuguese and/or Chinese Egg Tarts
(makes 12 tarts; recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
11 ounce box Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted butter
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon sugar
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Toasted sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a muffin tin with oil spray. In a bowl, combine pie crust mix, water, butter, and sugar. Roll the dough into a log on a floured surface, about 14 inches long.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients.
3. Cut the dough log into 12 equal pieces. Place each piece on the bottom of the muffin tin and form a shell by gently pressing the dough into the bottom and the sides. Use a fork to make holes on the bottom of each crust. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
4. Remove the pre-baked crust from the oven and fill with the egg custard. You might have a little bit of the custard left over, depending on how high you make your crust.
5. Place the tarts back in the oven and bake for additional 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the custard is set. Remove the tarts from the oven and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Cool the tarts on a rack.
You are ready to eat now. I couldn't resist and ate one of the tarts while it was still warm. The rest of the eleven tarts made it to the book club.
I was trying to figure out how to transport these golden sweets and came up with the idea of an egg carton - ha!
Have a sweet day!
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