Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata) are well known around the world for their crispy pastry and heavenly tasty filling.
Pastry1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour1/3 cup of water, more if needed1/2 cup (1 stick) of butterCustard Filling4 cups of milk (1 liter)Peel of 2 lemons2 cinnamon sticks2 and 1/2 cups of sugar3/4 cup of flour2 eggs10 egg yolks* Get Portuguese ingredients & stuff
Makes about 20 tarts.
- Combine flour, salt, and cold water in a bowl.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until dough just comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer dough onto a well floured surface, dust a little more flour over the top and knead for a minute or two to form a ball.
- Cover and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Roll dough into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick, dusting with flour as necessary; dough should still be sticky.
- Spread 1/3 of the butter over 2/3 of the rectangle using a spatula, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
- Flip the unbuttered side over the middle of the rectangle and fold the opposite end over it like a letter.
- Straighten the edges as needed.
- Turn the dough with a bench scraper to unstick it from the counter and dust with flour.
- Flip and sprinkle more flour on top.
- Roll dough into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle, carefully stretching edges as needed.
- Spread another 1/3 of the butter over 2/3 of the dough and fold into thirds.
- Transfer the dough to lined baking sheet and freeze until butter is slightly chilled, about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle dough with flour and roll into a rectangle a little over 1/8 inch thick.
- Spread remaining butter over the dough, leaving a 1- to 1 1/2-inch border on the top edge.
- Dip your finger in water and lightly moisten the unbuttered edge.
- Roll dough into a roll starting from the bottom edge.
- Dust with more flour and polish the ends as needed.
- Seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 240ºC or 465ºF.
- In a pot, place the milk, lemon peel and cinnamon sticks.
- Heat it until it boils and turn off the heat.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar and the flour.
- Add the mixture to the milk, while still hot, stirring well with the cinnamon sticks and lemon peel.
- Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon sticks and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Add the two eggs and the yolks.
- Stir until it forms a smooth cream.
- Bring to the heat again, stirring constantly until it thickens.
- Place the pastry roll on a work surface dusted with flour and cut it into 3 cm slices.
- With the help of your wet thumbs, line the molds with the pastry, spreading the pastry well to the edge.
- Pour the filling into the molds about 3/4 of the way and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden (place them on one of the upper racks if you want to burn them a little on top).
- Let the tarts cool down in the oven.
- Serve still warm with cinnamon sprinkled on them (optional).
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