These iconic Portuguese custard tarts are a delectable fusion of creamy custard and flaky pastry, originating from the charming streets of Lisbon. With a history dating back centuries, Pastel de Nata is a true testament to Portugal’s rich culinary heritage. Join us as we unveil the secrets behind crafting this irresistible treat, allowing you to bring a slice of Portuguese culture and sweetness to your palate.
For the pastry:
- 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
For the custard filling:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Preheat your oven according to the puff pastry package instructions.
- Grease a muffin tin lightly with butter or cooking spray.
- Carefully lay out the puff pastry sheets and cut circles slightly larger than the muffin tin openings.
- Gently press the pastry circles into the muffin tin, shaping them to form little cups. Pierce the bottom of each pastry cup with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk and cinnamon stick over medium heat until it starts to steam. Remove from heat and let the cinnamon infuse into the milk.
- In a bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, and cornstarch until well combined.
- Gradually pour the warm milk into the sugar-flour mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens into a custard-like consistency. Remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Gradually add a few spoonfuls of the warm custard to the beaten yolks, whisking vigorously to temper them.
- Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining custard, whisking constantly.
- Place the saucepan back on the heat and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring, until the custard thickens even more.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Spoon the custard into the prepared pastry cups, filling them about 2/3 full.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the custard is set and slightly browned on top.
- Remove the Pastel de Nata from the oven and let them cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar and sprinkling with ground cinnamon.