How to make Portuguese custard tarts

Pastéis de nata

One bite of a pastéis de nata and I am straight back in Portugal.  I first discovered these fabulously flaky custard tarts on a holiday to Lisbon with my friends Lucy, Claire and Liv.  Each morning we would walk out from the old converted convent where we were staying to the nearest little bakery to get some pastis de nata still hot from the oven.  

Pastéis de nata
Pastéis de nata

Of course these Portuguese custard tarts don’t taste exactly the same as the ones you get in Lisbon but a lot of that has to do with not eating them under the blue, Portuguese skys while wandering down tiny cobbled lanes.  

The milk, cinnamon and lemon mixture
The milk, cinnamon and lemon mixture

They may not entirely authentic but my take on pastéis de nata are a bright, sunny yellow, browned at the edges and surrounded in buttery puff pastry.

Dissolving the sugar
Dissolving the sugar

The recipe is a little time consuming but I think the results are worth it.   I do cheat a little as well by just buying puff pastry.  

Lining the mini muffin tin
Lining the mini muffin tin

You could make your own puff but I’m much to lazy for that and so just buy the most expensive I can get my hands on (Careme from specialty stores is really good).  

Portuguese custard tarts
Yields 30
Pastéis de nata: traditional Portuguese custard tarts
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
59 calories
11 g
27 g
1 g
1 g
1 g
30 g
6 g
11 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
30g
Yields
30
Amount Per Serving
Calories 59
Calories from Fat 13
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 27mg
9%
Sodium 6mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 11g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 lemon
  2. 250ml milk
  3. 2 cinnamon sticks
  4. 300g caster sugar
  5. 150ml water
  6. 1 pack of puff pastry
  7. 25g butter
  8. 2 tbsp cornflour
  9. 4 egg yolks
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250c.
  2. Slice a couple of pieces of lemon peel from the lemon and place in a saucepan with the milk and cinnamon.
  3. Cook over a medium heat until the milk starts to bubble, then remove from the heat and remove the lemon and cinnamon before setting aside.
  4. Combine the sugar and water in another pan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Butter a mini muffin tin and then cut the puff pastry into circles that are a little larger than the muffin tin holes. The pastry should not protrude over the top too much.
  6. Once the syrup and milk are cool add them together and stir to combine.
  7. In another bowl, whisk the cornflour and vanilla extract with the egg yolks until you have a smooth paste and then slowly whisk in the milk mixture.
  8. Strain the mixture into a jug and then fill the pastry lined mini muffin tin. Bake for 20 mins or until the custard has puffed up and the tops of the tarts start to brown.
beta
calories
59
fat
1g
protein
1g
carbs
11g
more
Gourmet Chick http://www.gourmet-chick.com/
Custard tarts straight out of the oven
Custard tarts straight out of the oven

3 comments

  1. I’ve got half a packet of Borg’s puff pastry at home which normally do the trick but I definitely think Careme will do the job much better. I might actually give these tarts a go this weekend!

  2. Followed this recipe verbatim despite doubts! I am an experienced pastry cook and having tried other Portuguese Custard Tart recipes decided to try this – big mistake!
    If you follow the instructions you will end up with a bowl of liquid, not custard. I ended up having to put this liquid into a pan to cook before it thickened. And SWEET – your teeth will rot before you’ve finished the first mouth full. This is nowhere near a Portugese Custard Tart, authentic or not.
    May I suggest the recipe provider actually cooks the recipe first before readers waste their ingredients and money. I would not recommend this recipe.

    1. Hi Barbara – I’m really sorry to hear this didn’t work for you. I have made the recipe (as you can see from the photos) and it worked for me – it is sweet but to me that is a good thing – I guess it depends on personal taste. Hope the next recipe is better for you. Cara

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