These Pastéis de Nata or Pastel de Nata, commonly called Portuguese Custard Tarts are an absolute delight! These buttery, flakey pastry tarts filled with a silky smooth custard are going to be your favourite sweet treat!
For the Laminated Dough
- 80 grams (⅓ cup) Unsalted Butter (for locking in)
- 150 grams (1 cup) All-Purpose Flour
- 2 grams (1/2 tsp) Salt
- 3 grams (3/4 tsp) Sugar
- 60 grams (¼ cup) Unsalted Butter (frozen)
- 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 50-60 ml Ice Cold Water
- 15 grams (1 tbsp) Melted Butter
For the Custard
- 135 grams (⅔ cup) White Granulated Sugar
- 50 ml (¼ cup) Water
- 1 stick of Cinnamon
- Lemon Peel ( of half a lemon)
- 30 grams (¼ cup) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 gram (¼ tsp) Salt
- 240 ml (1 cup) Whole Milk
- 5 grams (1 tsp) Pure Vanilla Extract
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 2 Tbsp Icing/Confectioners Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cinnamon Powder
For The Laminated Dough
- Cut the firm butter for laminating into strips and place them on a parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper to about a 12 by 14 cm size.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the butter out flat, to fit the size of the parchment paper. Place it in the refrigerator to firm up and set in shape.
- Using ice-cold water gently bring the dough together.
- Place the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Now lightly dust some flour on the work surface and roll out the firm dough to double the size of the firm butter sheet for lamination.
- Place the firm butter sheet on one half of the dough and cover it with the other half. Gently press it down on all sides and then cover with a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Once again dust the work surface with some flour and roll out the firm dough into a rectangle. Take one end of the shorter side and bring it to the center then take the other end and also bring it to the center. With a pastry brush dust off any excess all-purpose four. Now using the book fold method, double the dough in half and cover it with a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Dust the work surface once again with flour and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle. Take one side of the shorter end and bring it ⅔ over the other side and fold the other end ⅓ over so both ends meet. Dust off any excess all purpose flour from the surface. Once again fold the dough into half and cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
- Dust the work surface with all-purpose flour and roll out the dough till it’s just about a few millimetres thick. Lift the dough up occasionally to make sure it does not stick to the work surface. With a pastry brush gently brush on the melted butter and from the shorter side roll the dough to form a log. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to firm up.
For The Custard
- In a medium-size pot add the sugar, water, lemon rind and cinnamon stick. Place it on a medium heat to allow the sugar to dissolve in the water. When the sugar syrup begins to bubble and reaches a temperature of 220F or 100C remove it from the heat.
- In another pot, add the all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually stream in the milk, whisking vigorously to avoid any lumps being formed.
- Place the pot over a medium heat and allow this mixture to thicken.
- Take it off the heat and allow it to cool a bit before adding one egg yolk at a time, whisking continuously to get a smooth custard.
- Now remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick from the sugar syrup and stream it into the thickened custard. Give it a whisk so that they get well combined (if your custard has any lumps, this is a good time to strain the custard through a sieve).
- Keep this aside to cool while you prepare the tarts.
Making The Custard Tarts
- Take the rolled up dough from the refrigerator and cut it into small slices of 2 cm each.
- Place them in the tart molds and using your two thumbs press the dough down and up to cover the tarts.
- Place the pastry covered tart mold in a baking tray and cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate them while you preheat the oven to 450F.
- Now into the chilled tarts pour the custard till almost full. Place it in the oven on the 3rd rack from the top and bake the tarts for approximately 20 minutes (Here’s a tip if the custard has not got the burnt look on the top, broil for about 2 minutes keeping a close eye on the custard tarts)
- Once the custard has set and got a burnt look on the top remove them and allow them to cool just a little bit before dusting them with some icing sugar and cinnamon powder.