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Pastel de Nata recipe

Posted on 2011-01-10 - Comments

Photo of Pasteis de Nata After travelling to Portugal and savouring many pastéis de nata in their native environment, I decided to try and make them myself.

It was difficult to find a decent recipe online, but after a bit of looking I found a BBC Food recipe. The tarts turned out less than optimal, so I did a bit more sleuthing. After watching a few Youtube videos of the professional tart makers in action, I adapted the recipe and settled on the below.

The key to a successful tart seems to be the careful pressing of the pastry – I highly recommend watching some of the above videos to get an idea of the technique.

Ingredients:

Butter for greasing 3 egg yolks 3 tbsp caster sugar 25g cornflour 2 tsp vanilla essence 1 cinnamon stick 2 small slices of lemon peel 175ml full fat milk 225ml double cream 300g puff pastry (don’t bother making your own – seriously!)

  1. Put the vanilla essence, cinnamon stick, lemon rind, milk and cream in a small pan. Heat gently and bring to the boil slowly whilst stirring gently. When it starts to boil, turn off the heat, strain out the liquid into a jug and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray with butter.
  3. In a pan, mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour over a low heat until it forms a well combined paste. Add the cream mixture in a thin stream, stirring slowly but continuously. When heated through and well combined, turn off the heat and pour into the jug. (Don’t let it boil – it will cook through and thicken in the oven!)
  4. Roll out the pastry into a rectangle approx 30cm wide and 60cm long. Slice in half lengthways and place the half on top of the other. Roll into a tight swiss roll.
  5. Cut into slices approx 1.5cm wide and place horizontally in a muffin tray hold. Wet both your thumbs with water and press from the bottom middle of the pastry outwards. Keep pressing the pastry and rotate the muffin tray around to create an even pastry case the full height of the hole.
  6. When all 12 cases are ready, take the cooled custard mixture and divide equally among the cases.
  7. Bake in the oven for around 15 mins, or until the pastry is golden brown and the custard set in the middle. When cooking, the custard will rise over the top of the pastry – don’t worry, it’ll sink when you take it out of the oven.