Pasteis de nata are irresistible Portuguese custard tarts with a luxurious creamy filling encased in crisp flaky pastry. You’ll recognise them from their golden colour and bruléed finish. These sinfully sweet custard pastries are the perfect treat for any time of the day! Pasteis de nata work equally well as a luxury breakfast, afternoon pick me up, or simply as a dessert. It’s best to leave them to cool completely before removing from the tin, but we’ve discovered it’s almost impossible to avoid tucking into at least one when they’re fresh from the oven.
- 350ml whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- zest of ½ lemon
- 45g plain flour, sifted
- 300g caster sugar
- 4 free-range egg yolks
- 1tsp vanilla-bean paste
- 320g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
Preheat oven to 230C and grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter. Put into fridge to chill.
Slowly heat milk, cinnamon stick and lemon zest together in a saucepan and leave to simmer for 5-10 mins, then remove cinnamon stick.
Whisk ¼ of the warm milk mixture with the flour in a small bowl to form a smooth paste, then gradually whisk in rest of milk. Return to the pan and bring to the boil, whisking for 2-3 mins until thickened.
Heat sugar with 200ml water until sugar melts, then bring to the boil and whisk for 4-5 mins until reduced to a syrup. Whisk this syrup into milk, then pour over egg yolks and vanilla-bean paste in a large bowl and whisk to make a custard. If mixture is a little lumpy, strain through a sieve.
Roll out pastry, then roll back up into a tight log. Cut log into 12 rounds, and press a round, swirl-side up, into each muffin hole. Press well to spread pastry to fill tin holes. Divide custard between pastry cases and bake for 15-18 mins, until golden brown on top.