Today we are making Portuguese Custard Tarts. A recreation of our delicious tasty Portuguese Custard Tarts. They are very popular in the Portuguese cuisine know as “Pasteis de Nata” or as well as “Pasteis de Belem”.
The difference between this recipe and the Popular Portuguese Custard Tart is the puff pastry shell. The Portuguese Custard Tarts are baked for about 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated oven on maximum temperature (750F). Baking in high temperature, allows the shell to crispy and flaky. While in this recipe we bake them in a preheated oven on maximum temperature (500F). This is the maximum temperature that our ovens in Canada reach. In that case, in this recipe the pastry bakes for 10 to 12 minutes. By using the butter puff pastry we are able to achieve the crispy and flaky shell as the popular traditional Portuguese Custard Tarts.
How to making the perfect sugar syrup consistency for this recipe?
To make the sugar syrup, In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, pour water and then add the sugar. Stir it only once until water and sugar are blended. Leave it boil for about 3 to 5 minutes. If necessary shake the saucepan a couple of times but do not stir with the spoon or spatula. The syrup is ready when you end up with the consistency that we call sugar pearl drop consistency. After boiling for 3 minutes start testing it for its consistency with out stirring it. To do this, dip a wooden spatula in the syrup and lift out. Allow it to create a drop. If the drop falls from the spoon quickly, it needs to boil a little longer. When the drop takes longer to fall from the spoon you have achieved the consistency for this recipe. In Portuguese we call it sugar pearl consistency.
Portuguese Custard Tarts | Pasteis de Nata
A reinvention of a delicious traditional and popular Portuguese pastry known as Pasteis de Nata
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 grams sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 stripes of lemon skin
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 Pre-rolled Butter Puff Pastry sheet
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 500F or to it’s maximum temperature and remove the butter Puff Pastry from the plastic wrap and let sit on the counter. To make the sugar syrup, In a small saucepan, on medium heat, pour water and then add the sugar. Stir it only once until water and sugar are blended. Leave it boil for about 5 minutes. If necessary shake the saucepan a couple of times but do not stir with the spoon or spatula. The syrup is ready when you end up with the consistency that we call sugar pearl drop consistency. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
- Step 2 To make the cream mixture, in a small bowl, add in the flour and pour in a bit of cold milk, mix and stir to combine, until you achieve a smooth flour mixture without any lumps. If needed, continue adding small portion of milk while you stir.
- Step 3 Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, on medium heat, pour in the rest of the milk, cinnamon sticks and lemon skin, stir and bring it to a simmer.
- Step 4 Now, pour a bit of the simmered milk into the flour mixture stirring it consistently to avoid lumps.
- Step 5 On medium-low heat, add the flour mixture into the simmered milk and constantly stir it until it thickens into a perfect smooth cream. This may take about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Step 6 Remove the cream from the heat and while stirring constantly, slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Let it rest over the counter for a few minutes.
- Step 7 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the cream mixture into the egg yolk. This is to avoid cooking the yolks when adding them to the warm cream mixture. Add another 2 tbsp into the yolk and whisk again until it is well combined.
- Step 8 Add the yolk mixture to the cream mixture and stir until blended.
- Step 9 Put the cream mixture through a sieve to avoid any lumps in the egg cream mixture and to remove the cinnamon stick and lemon skin.
- Step 10 Unroll the Puff Pastry onto a clean work surface and remove the parchment paper from the roll. line the parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Step 11 Roll up the puff pastry and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Let sit in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Step 12 Cut the roll into 10 equal pieces, about 1 inch wide.
- Step 13 Using a dark muffin tin, place the pieces cut side down into the tin cups and with your wet thumb, press the dough down, flattening it against the bottom, sides and smooth the dough up the sides until you reach the edge. The pastry sides should be thinner than the bottom.
- Step 14 Place the muffin tin in the fridge for 10 minutes before filling them with the egg cream.
- Step 15 Fill the pastry cups with the egg cream mixture, only 3/4 full.
- Step 16 Place them into the preheated oven and bake until the puff pastry is golden crispy and the top has dark spots or for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool in the tins and then on the rack sprinkle with cinnamon or if you prefer, icing sugar or sprinkle both before serving!