The Most Delicious Pasteis de Nata – Portuguese Custard Tarts
For my baking around the world challenge I stumbled across Pasteis de Belem aka Pasteis de Nata for Portugal. I tried them and all I can say is these pasteis are A-MA-ZING! I love them. I understand why the Portuguese love them. The custard infused with lemon, cinnamon and vanilla combined with the crisp puff pastry is a great combination. Simple flavours, maximum taste. Definitely one of my favourite recipes.
I found the recipe on Delicious and tweaked it a bit to fit to my liking.
Making Pasteis de Nata
Making Pasteis de Nata isn’t too difficult but it does take some time.
You’ll need, flour, sugar, milk, water, puff pastry, a couple of eggs, strips of zest of 1 lemon, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 vanilla bean cut in half and with the seeds scraped out. A little butter for greasing and confectioner’s sugar and ground cinnamon for dusting. (A full list of ingredients including measurements can be found in the recipe card below).
First, take your mini muffin tins and grease the holes thoroughly with butter. Once done, make sure you put the tins in the fridge.
Next let’s start with the custard. Pour milk in a pan.
Add half of the lemon zest, one cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean plus the scraped out seeds and bring to a simmer.
Strain the milk into a bowl.
You want to make sure you strain out the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and lemon zest.
(I prefer to strain my milk mixture but if you prefer to take out the cinnamon stick and lemon zest out of the milk another way that’s fine as well.)
You’ll be left with a gorgeous smelling milk mixture. the black speckles are the vanilla seeds giving lovely flavour.
Pour a little under half of the milk with your flour.
Mix thoroughly, make sure all of the flour has been combined with the milk.
Pour the remaining milk back into a pan and bring to a boil.
Take the pan off the heat and while stirring constantly, pour in the milk and flour mixture.
Mix until thick. Set aside
Now it’s time to make the syrup for the custard. Take a saucepan and pour in the water.
And the zest of half a lemon and one cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and either use a thermometer to check till it reaches 108 ºC / 226 ºF or do the test below.
If you don’t have a thermometer, boil the sugar for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, take a spoonful of syrup and put it on a plate. Beware sugar syrup is very hot!! Leave to cool for a few minutes. Once cooled test the syrup by putting some of it between your thumb and index finger. If threads appear the syrups is done, if not, boil a little bit longer and do the test again.
You’ll be left with a delicious cinnamon lemony syrup.
Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon zest strips from the syrup.
While stirring constantly, pour the syrup into the milk mixture.
Add in the eggs and mix till combined.
Strain the custard into a bowl.
Use a scraper to push the last bit through the sieve.
Cover with clingfilm lightly touching the custard.
Preheat the oven to 175 º C / 350 ºF.
Take your puff pastry and cut out circles for your muffin tin.
The circles should be big enough to cover the holes and there’s a enough to hang over the top of the hole.
Pour the custard into the pastry cups. Put in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
Once the pastry turns golden brown, take them out of the oven and leave to cool a few minutes in the tin.
Once slightly cooled, take them out of the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Followed by a touch of cinnamon.
And you’ll en up with these little delicious pasteis.
Don’t you just want to bite into them? I can’t stop taking pictures!
Okay, last photo. These pasteis are well worth the effort of making. They’re best eaten the day they’re made, preferably when they’re still a little warm. You can keep them but I doubt you’ll have any left. When I make them they’re always gone before I know it.
Try it out and let me know what you think. Is this going to be one of your favourite recipes as well?
|Prep Time||40 minutes|
|Cook Time||15 minutes|
- 500 ml milk
- 1/2 lemon big strips of zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean
- 70 g all-purpose flour
- 6 egg yolks large
- 650 g puff pastry roughly 2 packets
- confectioner's sugar for dusting
- cinnamon ground. For dusting
- Take 2 mini muffin tins and grease the holes thoroughly with butter. Put the tins in the fridge to chill.
- In a pan heat up milk with the zest of half a lemon, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick, Heat to simmer and strain to remove the strips of lemon zest, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick.
- In a separate small bowl, pour a little under half of the milk with the flour and mix thoroughly till combined.
- Pour the remaining milk into a pan and bring to a boil, Take off the heat and, while stirring constantly, pour in the milk and flour mixture. Mix until thick. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan bring sugar, strips of zest of half a lemon, a cinnamon stick and water to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes until the syrup reaches 108 ºC / 226 ºF. Use a thermometer to check. If you don't have a thermometer, use a spoon to spoon out a little bit of the syrup and put it onto a plate, leave to cool for a few minutes. Beware sugar syrup is very hot!! Once cooled put some of the syrup between your thumb and index finger and if you see little threads of syrup in between it means the syrup is done. Remove the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick.
- While stirring constantly, pour the syrup into the milk mixture. Don't worry if the mixture seems a little lumpy.
- While still stirring, add in the egg yolks and mix until combined.
- Strain the custard and cover with clingfilm lightly touching the custard. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 175 ºC / 350 ºF.
- Take your pastry and cut out circles. Take the circle and carefully press the pasrty onto the bottom and the sides of the cup. The sides should be long enough to just reach over the edge.
- Pour the custard into the pastry cup, filling about 3/4 of the cup. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the pasteis cool in the tin for a few minutes. Once cooled slightly remove them from the tin and put onto a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar, followed by cinnamon and serve. The pasteis taste the best on the day that they're made.
- I prefer to strain my milk mixture but if you prefer to take out the cinnamon stick and lemon zest out of the milk another way that’s fine as well.
- The pasteis are best consumed on the day they're made. However, if you wish to keep them a little longer, you can keep them in an airtight box for up to 2 days. Just pop them in the oven for 3-5 minutes to make them nice and crisp again.