Pastel de Nata
20 min prep
25 min cook
- 1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Powdered cinnamon (for dusting)
Pastel de Nata / Portuguese Custard Pies
Welcome to the delightful world of Portuguese cuisine! Today, we have a treat that will transport your taste buds to the sunny streets of Lisbon – Portuguese Custard Pies, also known as Pastéis de Nata. These golden, flaky pastries filled with creamy custard are a beloved symbol of Portuguese gastronomy and have gained popularity around the world.
Originating from the 18th century, Pastéis de Nata have a rich history deeply rooted in the vibrant Portuguese culture. Legend has it that these little treasures were first created by Catholic monks residing in the Jerónimos Monastery in the Belém district of Lisbon. Seeking a way to sustain themselves, the monks ingeniously used egg yolks leftover from starching their clothes to create a delectable custard filling. To preserve their secret recipe, it was shared with only a select few, passing down from generation to generation.
Today, Pastéis de Nata can be found in bakeries and cafés throughout Portugal, where locals and tourists alike indulge in their heavenly taste. These pastries have become an integral part of Portuguese cuisine and a symbol of national pride. From the first bite, you’ll experience the delicate balance of flavors – the crispy, buttery layers of pastry perfectly complementing the luscious, silky custard.
But fear not, for you don’t have to venture all the way to Lisbon to savor the delights of Pastéis de Nata. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the process of creating these Portuguese gems in the comfort of your own kitchen. So let’s gather our ingredients, preheat the oven, and embark on a culinary journey to create the irresistible Portuguese Custard Pies that will make your heart sing!
Preparing the Puff Pastry
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). Take the ready-made puff pastry sheet and thaw it if necessary, following the instructions on the packaging. Once thawed, roll out the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circles slightly larger than the openings of your muffin tin.
Making the Filling
Preparing the Custard Filling
In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Add the milk and vanilla extract to the saucepan and whisk again until the mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk in the all-purpose flour, making sure there are no lumps. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the custard mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the custard cool for a few minutes.
Filling and Baking
Carefully pour the cooled custard into the prepared pastry shells, filling them almost to the top. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown and the custard sets. Keep a close eye on them as baking times may vary. Once baked, remove the pies from the oven and let them cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Enjoy the delectable taste of Portugal’s custard pies, delighting in their creamy texture and buttery pastry crust. Bon appétit!
Note: This recipe yields approximately 12 Portuguese custard pies. Adjust the quantities accordingly if you desire more or fewer pies.