Recipe Pastel de Nata

Pastel de Nata, or Portuguese custard tart, is a delectable pastry that originated in Portugal. With its flaky crust and creamy custard filling, it has gained popularity worldwide. This article will guide you through making these delicious treats at home, providing you with the necessary ingredients, preparation steps, serving suggestions, tips, variations, and nutritional information.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon (optional, for garnish)
  • Powdered sugar (optional, for dusting)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F). Grease a muffin tin or tart moulds with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Using a round cutter, cut out circles slightly larger than the size of your moulds.
  3. Fit the pastry circles into the prepared moulds, pressing gently to adhere to the bottom and sides. Trim any excess pastry if needed.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it's hot but not boiling.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract until smooth and well combined.
  6. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  7. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a custard-like consistency, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  8. Pour the custard into the prepared pastry shells, filling them about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the custard is set with a slight jiggle in the centre.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the pastries cool in the moulds for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips:

  • Ensure your puff pastry is cold when you work with it to maintain its flakiness.
  • Be careful not to overfill the pastry shells with custard to prevent spillage during baking.
  • For extra flavour, you can add lemon zest or a splash of brandy to the custard mixture.
  • Store any leftover pastries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Variations:

  • Chocolate Pastel de Nata: Add cocoa powder to the custard mixture for a chocolatey twist.
  • Fruit-Topped Pastel de Nata: Top the baked pastries with fresh berries or sliced fruit before serving.
  • Almond Pastel de Nata: Add almond extract to the custard mixture and sprinkle sliced almonds on top before baking.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories per serving: Approximately 200 calories
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Protein: 4g

Conclusion:

Now that you have mastered the art of making Pastel de Nata, you can enjoy these delightful pastries at any time. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different flavours, the result is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So gather your ingredients and get baking!

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