Authentic Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata) Recipe
Portuguese custard tarts, also known as Pastéis de Nata, are a type of sweet pastry that originated in Portugal. They consist of a crisp, flaky pastry shell filled with a creamy custard-like mixture. The custard filling is made from a combination of milk, sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla extract, which is cooked over low heat until it thickens and becomes creamy.
The pastry shell is made from puff pastry or a similar type of flaky pastry dough, which is rolled out and cut into small circles. The circles are then pressed into a muffin tin or similar baking dish, and the custard filling is poured into each shell. The tarts are then baked until the pastry is golden brown and the custard filling is set.
Portuguese custard tarts are a popular dessert in Portugal and are also enjoyed in other countries, particularly in areas with a significant Portuguese community. They are often served with a sprinkling of cinnamon or powdered sugar on top, and are best enjoyed while still warm from the oven.
This recipe makes 12 tarts.
- Preheat the oven to 290 degrees Celsius (550 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Add the sugar, water, vanilla extract, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until a thermometer reads 100 degrees Celsius (220 degrees Fahrenheit).
- In a separate pan, thoroughly whisk together the milk, flour and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. When the mixture is well combined and the milk has thickened, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the milk mixture has cooled, whisk in the egg yolks. Remove the cinnamon stick from the sugar syrup and pour that into the milk mixture as well. Mix until well combined, then strain into a measuring jug.
- Cut the pastry sheet in half across the longer side. Stack the two pieces of dough on top of each other and roll tightly into a log from the short end. Cut the log into 12 evenly sized pieces.
- Place one piece of pastry dough into each of the 12 cups of the muffin tin. Dip your thumb into cold water, then press down into the center of the dough and press outwards to form a small well. Repeat for all 12 cups. The top edge of the dough should extend just barely past the top of the muffin tin.
- Fill each cup 3/4 of the way to the top with the custard filling.
- Bake until the custard starts to caramelize and blister and the pastry crust turns golden brown, about 10–12 minutes.
- Serve warm with powdered sugar and ground cinnamon sprinkled on top if desired.
Recipe Credit: devourtours.com
Photo Credit: bienmanger.com