The earliest record of egg tarts in the East is in a royal banquet for the Kangxi Emperor as part of the Manchu Han Imperial Feast. Egg tarts were then introduced in Hong Kong in the 1940's, probably as an adaptation of the English custard tarts.
In 1989, the Lord Stow's Bakery was opened in Macau and has continued to expand throughout Asia including the Philippines, where these eggs tarts are a hit and would be a much bigger hit if only they were not so expensive. Anyway, I got myself a 6-piece box from this outlet along Ongpin St., Binondo, Manila.
Using the puff pastry method, the crust is very crisp even when placed in the fridge, but these are best eaten warm. You can pop them in a toaster first. Heavenly!
The Lord Stow's version is based on the original Portuguese tarts called pasteis de nata. Portuguese-style egg tarts were evolved from "pastel de nata", a traditional Portuguese custard pastry that consists of custard in a crème brûlée-like consistency caramelized fashion in a puff pastry case.
It was created more than 200 years ago by Catholic nuns at the Jerónimos Monastery at Belém in Lisbon. Casa Pastéis de Belém was the first pastry shop outside of the convent to sell this pastry in 1837, and it is now a popular pastry in every pastry shop around the world owned by Portuguese descendants.
The Portuguese-style egg tarts known in Macau (Chinese: 葡式蛋撻, more commonly simply as 葡撻) originated from Lord Stow's Café in Coloane, owned by a Briton named Andrew Stow. Stow modified the recipe of pastel de nata using techniques of making English custard tarts. (Source: Wickipedia)