This pastry is made with a rich, eggy batter that is poured into individual “tarts” before baking. The end result are buttery and delicate dough-wrapped custard filled pastries.
Pastéis de Nata are Portuguese custard tarts that are as simple as they come. They’re made of egg yolks, sugar and milk, then baked in a pastry crust.
Pastéis de Nata, or Portuguese custard tarts, are a delicious and simple delicacy from Portugal. The flaky, buttery dough of these tarts is paired with a creamy egg custard filling that is somewhat lemony with a dash of cinnamon.
Pastéis de nata are made by baking tarts in an extremely hot oven until the tops get burned, which gives the pastéis de nata its distinctive taste and texture. Custard tarts from Portugal are ideal for any occasion. They’re one of the most popular traditional Portuguese dishes, and they’re perfect as a snack with a cup of coffee, tea, or even warmed cinnamon milk.
Pastéis de Nata are what they sound like.
Pastéis de nata, or pastel de nata in singular, are a typical Portuguese dessert. They’re produced by filling flaky puff pastry with a sweet, lemony egg custard and topping it with cinnamon rather of nutmeg, as in English custard tarts.
Pastéis de Belem, or Bethlehem Pastries, is the name given to this delicious pastry in Southern Portugal. The dish is also known as “doce conventual,” since it originated at a convent near Lisbon.
Ingredients in Nata Pastéis
Puff pastry filled with creamy custard is used to make pastéis de nata.
The puff pastry is prepared by layering a flour, water, and salt dough with lots of butter, similar to how croissants are made.
The custard is produced with milk and lemon zest that has been seasoned. Cinnamon, water, sugar, and vanilla essence are cooked together to make the syrup. You’ll also need egg yolks to produce the custard. The tart fillings get their unique richness and color as a result of this.
How to Make Nata Pastéis
Making handmade pastéis de nata is a simple and enjoyable weekend baking endeavor, particularly if you want to create the dough from scratch (which we highly suggest — it tastes much better!). Here’s what you should do.
Making the Dough for the Pastry
To create the pastry dough, whisk together the flour, water, and salt in a large mixing basin. Knead the dough until it begins to pull away from the bowl’s sides. It’ll be extremely sticky, but that’s how it should be. Turn out the dough on a floured work surface. Cover it with a moist cloth and let it aside for 15 minutes. Dust your work surface with a little more flour. Dust your rolling pin with flour as well. Roll out the dough to a 10 × 10 inch rectangle.
Over the bottom two-thirds of the dough, spread one-third of the butter. Fold the butter-free portion over the center part, then the bottom section over the top. Repeat the procedure by turning the dough 90 degrees and rolling it out to a 10 × 10 size. Repeat by turning the dough 90 degrees one final time. Form a tight log out of the dough. Remove the ends, put it in saran wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. If you have the time, overnight is preferable.
To make the custard, whisk together the flour and 50 mL milk until smooth. Bring the water, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil until the temperature reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Stirring the mixture will cause the syrup to crystalize. In a separate saucepan, bring the remaining milk to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the zest and vanilla extract. Cover the saucepan for a few minutes to allow the mixture to infuse.
Pour in the syrup after whisking the flour mixture into the milk. Remove the cinnamon and continue to stir the mixture until it starts to cool. Set aside the custard after adding the egg yolks.
Putting the Portuguese Custard Tarts Together and Cooking Them
Now it’s time to assemble your tarts! Make 12 even slices out of the puff pastry. Place them in a muffin tray cut-side down. Set aside for ten minutes. This will soften the dough enough for you to form it. Using your thumbs, dip them into the water. Press the dough into the muffin pans and shape it up the sides. Make sure it’s not too thinly spread out. Fill the pastry to approximately three-quarters full with the custard.
Preheat the oven to 550°F and bake the custard tarts for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown. To get that true charred appearance, broil the tarts for a few minutes towards the end to sear them. Remove the tarts from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm with a cinnamon garnish.
Pastéis de Nata: How to Serve
Dust your nata pastéis with cinnamon powder, powdered sugar, or both. With a cup of coffee or tea, serve them warm or at room temperature. Freshly cooked pastéis de nata are the finest.
Custard Tarts in Portugal: How to Make Them
This recipe may be simplified by using store-bought puff pastry. Filo pastry may also be used.
To determine whether the sugar-water combination has achieved the right temperature, use a candy thermometer.
Once the syrup begins to boil, do not stir it, since this will cause it to crystalize.
Make sure the bottom of the dough isn’t too thin while shaping it.
Pastéis de Nata: How to Store Them
Pastéis de nata may be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Refrigerate them for up to 5 days for extended storage.
Is Pastéis de Nata Freezable?
Yes, of course! Pastéis de nata may be frozen for up to three months.
In a mixing dish, combine the flour, water, and salt. Knead the dough until it begins to pull away from the bowl’s sides.
Place the dough on a floured work surface and cover with a wet cloth to rest for 15 minutes.
Dust your work area and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough to a 10 × 10 inch rectangle. 2/3 of the dough should be brushed with 1/3 of the butter. Fold the butter-free portion over the center part, then the bottom section over the top.
Repeat the procedure by turning the dough 90 degrees and rolling it out to a 10 × 10 size. Repeat by turning the dough 90 degrees one final time.
Roll the dough tightly into a log. Cut the ends off, then cover the pastry in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.
Combine flour and 50 mL milk to create the custard. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
Bring the water, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil until the temperature reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture should not be stirred.
Bring the remaining milk to a boil in a separate saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Cover the saucepan and let aside for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and the syrup. Remove the cinnamon stick and whisk until the mixture starts to cool.
Set aside after whisking in the egg yolks.
Preheat the oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry log into 12 even pieces. In a muffin tray, place the cut-side down. Set aside for ten minutes.
Using your thumbs, dip them into the water. Press the dough into the muffin pans and shape it up the sides.
Fill the pastry to a third of the way with custard. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown.
Grill the tarts for the final five minutes if required to burn them.
Remove the tarts from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm with a cinnamon garnish.
Make your pastéis de nata in a regular muffin tray.
The “pastel de nata delivery” is a Portuguese custard tart. It’s made from eggs, milk and flour, usually in a pastry case. The pastry case is then filled with sweetened crème pâtissière.
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