How to Make Pastéis de Nata: A Portuguese Delight in Your Own Kitchen

Pastéis de nata, or Portuguese custard tarts, are a beloved Portuguese treat enjoyed worldwide for their flaky pastry and creamy egg custard filling. Made with just a few simple ingredients, these delightful sweets are a perfect addition to any occasion, from snacks to special desserts. In this guide, we’ll walk you through step-by-step how to make pastéis de nata in your own kitchen, so you can enjoy this authentic treat without leaving home.

Egg tart on wooden background.

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 packet of fresh or frozen puff pastry
  • 500ml of milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200g of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • Lemon zest
  • Cinnamon powder (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preparing the Custard:

  • In a saucepan, heat the milk with the lemon zest until it’s almost boiling. Then, remove the lemon zest and set the milk aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, and flour until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Slowly add the warmed milk to the egg mixture, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan.

2. Cooking the Custard:

  • Cook the custard over low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens and reaches the desired consistency. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes. Be sure not to let the custard boil.

3. Preparing the Pastry:

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) and prepare a muffin tin by greasing it with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  • Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut it into squares the size of the bottoms of the muffin tin cups. Place the pastry squares into the muffin tin cups, pressing lightly to form the bases of the pastéis de nata.

4. Assembling the Pastéis:

  • Fill each pastry cup with the prepared custard, filling them about 3/4 of the way up. The pastéis will puff up slightly during baking, so leave enough space in the tin.

5. Baking the Pastéis:

  • Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake the pastéis de nata for about 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the custard is lightly browned on top.

6. Finishing the Pastéis:

  • Remove the pastéis de nata from the oven and let them cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder to taste, if desired, before serving.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making pastéis de nata, it’s time to savor this homemade Portuguese delight. Serve the pastéis de nata warm or at room temperature as a indulgent dessert or a delicious snack to share with friends and family. Experiment with different variations by adding lemon zest or vanilla to the custard for an extra burst of flavor. Share this recipe with your loved ones and enjoy memorable moments around the table with freshly baked pastéis de nata made by yourself. Bom apetite!

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