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The Warm, Delicate Pastry That Brings Me Back to Hong Kong

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Every so often, we scour the site for outstanding recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature—this warm, delicate tart brings community member checker back to traveling in Hong Kong.

Of the all places I’ve had the good fortune to visit, I consider Hong Kong my favorite city. From eating noodles while standing at street-side vendors to the five-star restaurants rapidly appearing throughout the city, there is always a culinary adventure waiting.

We had breakfast at a small bakery most mornings, where coffee with cream and sugar was a cup that contained of three shots of espresso, heavy cream, and simple syrup. And French toast was a battered and deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And at the pastry counter, you could find small tarts filled with a sweet and light egg custard.

Bet you can't just have one.
Bet you can't just have one. Photo by Bobbi Lin

It took some research to figure out what those wonderful little pastries were: pastel de nata. Originally from Portugal, these egg custard tarts traveled to a variety of former Portuguese territories, including (the now autonomous territory) Macau, near Hong Kong. Over time, Hong Kong welcomed the tart into its own cuisine.

I find myself craving the pastel de nata this time of year—their warmth satisfies late winter’s lingering chill, while their delicate pastry and flavor are enticing reminders of approaching spring. They’ve become a favorite treat, and a perfect way to relive the memory of visiting Hong Kong.

Pastel de Nata

Pastel de Nata

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Makes 12
  • 1 homemade authentic puff pastry, homemade “rough” puff pastry or good quality packaged puff pastry
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece lemon peel
  • 1 piece orange peel
  • cinnamon for dusting
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
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Do you have a recipe that's been passed down in your family? Or one you want to make sure your future generations make? Let us know in the comments and it might be featured as one of our heirloom recipes!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Breakfast, Heirloom Recipes