The bakeries in our neighborhood don’t really sell fancy breads and pastries like some neighborhood bakeries do. I think this is due to the fact that the price of flour has steadily increased over the years and that consumers are more inclined to purchase breads that are filling. What they have are the usual staples: pan de sal, pan de coco, ensaymada, Spanish bread, tasty (pullman, white bread), a bread whose name eludes me ’til now – one that has a red filling, plus the special ones like hopia, pineapple and ube (purple yam) bars and egg pies.
As a kid, egg pies were a treat as we don’t get to buy them often. There’s the fact that they cost much more at around P10 a slice while other breads and pastries were around P2 or less. I’m usually won by ube bars, the ones with a flaky centers, coated in ube powder and desiccated coconut, which were P2 a piece.
The times that we do get egg pies, I’d take my time savoring them. The egg pies of my youth had a thick nearly flavorless, not puffed, not flaky crust along the circumference. The bottom crust tastes the same and is thinner than the edges. It’s a good counterpoint to the filling which I have always thought of as leche flan minus the caramel sauce. I’m particularly fond of the browned top part of the filling.
I don’t think our neighborhood bakeries make them as frequently as they did anymore. If I want any egg pies, I’d have to drop by mall bakeshops. Then there are times when a slice ain’t available and I would have to settle for getting a whole pie.
It was my sister-in-law who introduced me to egg tarts. At first I would have dismissed egg tarts as just glorified egg pies made daintier, with a hefty price tag attached to them.
That was before I sunk my teeth into a Lord Stow’s Egg Tart. For this particular egg tart, I believe the hype is well-deserved. It is the puffy, flaky pastry crust that got me though the filling is yummy as well. It is creamy and the egg taste is more pronounced. Not overly sweet. Goes well with a tumbler of coffee.
Aside from the one at the Glorietta food court where I get my tarts, Lord Stow’s has food carts/branches across Metro Manila. Know where here. Their international webpage’s here. It has a page detailing the bakery’s history. The recipe for their egg tarts, however, remains elusive.