Egg

Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata)

January 23, 2021
0 Stars
Photo by Faseeha
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes 12
Author Notes

A delicious, flaky pastry with a soft custardy filling with the perfect hint of lemon, cinnamon, and vanilla. —Faseeha

Ingredients
  • The Pastry
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • The Custard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece lemon zest/lemon peel
  • .6 cups milk (1/2C + 1Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt. Add water to the flour and mix it (in a stand mixer with dough hook or with a wooden spoon) until the dough is sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl
  2. Generously flour a work surface. Remove the dough from the bowl (it will be sticky so use a bowl scraper if needed). Shape it into a rough square, sprinkle flour on the top of the dough as well, and cover with plastic wrap tightly, so no air touches it. Let it rest for ~10 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough into an 8x8 inch square, then gently brush away any excess flour with a pastry brush. Use a small spatula (or butter knife) to spread 1/3 of the butter over the RIGHT 2/3 of the pastry by dotting it all over and spreading it gently, and leaving ~1 inch margin on the edges. For this part, use a bench/dough scraper to unstick the unbuttered LEFT 1/3 of the dough and fold it over the MIDDLE 1/3 of dough. Then, fold the RIGHT 1/3 over the MIDDLE as well. This resembles an envelope fold.
  4. Use your scraper to help lift the dough and turn it 90 degrees to the right so the fold is facing you. While lifting the dough, sprinkle more flour onto your surface.
  5. Repeat Step 3.
  6. For the third roll, roll it into a 10x15 inch rectangle, with the short side facing you. This time, spread the remaining 1/3 of butter over the ENTIRE dough.
  7. Using your scraper as an aid, lift the edge of dough closest to you and being rolling it tightly into a log. Continue unsticking the dough and brush away any areas with too much excess flour as you go. Once you have a log, trim the edges so it's neat. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight for the best results.
  8. For the custard: in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 2Tbsp milk until they form a slurry.
  9. In one saucepan, add sugar, water, lemon, and cinnamon. DO NOT STIR THE SUGAR. Place on low heat until the mixture reaches 100* C.
  10. In another, add the milk and vanilla on medium to medium-high heat and let it just come to a boil. Then, immediately pour it over the flour mixture you made while whisking gently until combined.
  11. Once the sugar syrup is ready, carefully remove the cinnamon stick with tongs (CAREFUL: it is extremely hot, don't touch the syrup). Gently pour it into the milk mixture while whisking. Continue whisking the mixture for about 5 min until it cools down to room temp.
  12. Then, whisk in the egg yolks. Strain the custard and let it cool before covering in plastic until needed.
  13. Once the pastry is rested, preheat your oven to 500F, ideally in a convection setting.
  14. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 12 even pieces. Place each into the well of a greased 12-cup muffin pan. Allow them to sit for 5-10 until they're pliable.
  15. Have a bowl of water nearby. Dip your fingers in the water, then press your thumbs right into the middle of the dough to flatten it against the bottom of the well. Then, use your fingers to push the pastry up the sides until you reach the top of the well.
  16. Fill each cup 3/4 full with the cooled custard.
  17. Bake until the edges are brown and the tops are bubbling (~8-10 min). Remove from the oven and let them cool for 5 min before transferring to a cooling rack. They're best served sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

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