Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pasteis de Nata

One of my fondest memories is of being in Portugal and going to Belem.  Not only is it amazingly beautiful but if you ever visit the city you HAVE to try the Pasteis de Nata, or Pasteis de Belem.

Pasteis de Nata 

Custard Tarts with this flaky crust and a delicious creamy center.  I’ve tried for many years to replicate them and I’ll be honest, I don’t think you’ll ever get a recipe that matches but these are pretty good.
You can find a plethora of recipes around the net but I like using the one from Leite’s Culinaria.  The only thing I change is that I add in a little vanilla extract to my custard.
Recipe courtesy of David Leite

Pasteis de Nata

Pasteis de Nata

Puff Pastry
(the longer way you would make the pastry from scratch,
but I’m all for shortcuts since I don’t have the time to
be in the kitchen that long)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/16-inch thickness.
    • Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles.
    • (If you don’t have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well.) Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds.
    • Repeat with the remaining dough.
Pasteis de Nata
  • Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins.
  • Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights.
  • Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes to set.
  • Make the custard.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream in a medium bowl.
  • Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves.
  • Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.
  • In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth.
  • Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
  • Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity.
  • Bake in at 350°F (180°C) until the edges of the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • (The custard will continue to cook.) Cool completely in the tin.
  • The pastéis are best when eaten the same day.

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1 comment:

  1. These look delicious. I want to try them. Love looking at your Portuguese recipes- I live in the Azores (but I'm not Portuguese). I want to try a lot of things!



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