I never got to try Pasteis de Nata, the famous Portuguese custad tart, when I was in Portugal in 2004. My trip was cut short by an unexpected event. I have been meaning to make them ever since. Seven years later I finally did.
I stood in the kitchen,rolling and folding the puff pastry, thinking of all the Pasteis de Nata I never got to even try. Bryan did, and he said mine had the taste of the Portuguese tarts he ate in Portugal.
They weren't perfect. I didn't get the silky custard I aimed for, but I think I know where I went wrong and how to fix it. The pastry part was fine, could maybe rolled a little thinner. I purchased Careme, a quality puff pastry sold in Australia and recommended by foodie friends. You could use a cheaper one, but as puff pastry is something I don't buy often I was happy to pay the extra dollars. It's a little like eating one piece of really good chocolate over an entire block of standard regular chocolate.
The whorls in the base are the result of the special folding and rolling that is unique to these tarts. Check out the post over at Sunday Hotpants for a 'how to' post.
I went with the Bill Granger recipe. It seemed to be the most popular. The custard was made in the Thermomix.
PASTEIS de Nata (PORTUGUESE TARTS)
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- place egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in Thermomix bowl and blend for 5 seconds on speed 4
- Add cream and milk
- mix for 7 minutes at 80C on speed 4.
- Add vanilla and blend for 10 seconds on speed 8
- Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film to avoid a skin forming and leave to cool.
- Preheat oven to 200C (375F)
- Lightly grease a 12 count muffin tray
- Half pastry sheet horizontally. Place one piece on top of other and set aside for 5 minutes
- Tightly roll up pastry into a log from short end to short end
- Cut pastry log into 1.25c (1/2 inch) 12 rounds
- Lie each piece on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 10C (4inch) rounds
- Press each round into muffin pans
- Spoon cooled custard into pastry cases
- Bake in oven until pastry and custard is golden (about 20 - 25 minutes)
- Remove from oven and leave in tin for 5 minutes
- Remove and place on wire rack to cool
- These are best served warm
If you'd like to know the history of these Portuguese Tarts Duncan at Syrup and Tang has written a well researched article. Sarah at Foodbridge documents her visit to Portugal with some wonderful photos and a visit to Pasteis de Belem, the holy grail of the Portuguese tart.
I'm not sure what the difference between 'pastel de nata' and 'pasteis de nata' is. Is 'pastel' the singular? Anyone know?