Portuguese Pastéis de Nata (Custard Pastry Tarts)
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Pasteis de Nata (pash-TAYzh duh NOT-uh) = literally pastries of cream
The Portuguese word for a single pastry is a "Pastel" (pash-TELL)
and "Pasteis" is the plural form.
So, if you like the first pastel, then you will probably order a whole box of pasteis.
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Phil Rosenthal, the creator of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and more recently, the host of the traveling food blog TV series, "Somebody Feed Phil" did a show in Lisbon, Portugal. He was at a bakery and they gave him a Pastel de Nata to try.
He took one bite and his face lit up like a neon sign and he described the taste something like this ...
"You know those little egg custard tarts you get in Chinatown?
It's just like that, only these taste GOOD !! "
** No offense to Chinese bakers... they must have different priorities (or taste buds).
Basically, the Portuguese just make tastier pastries!
I watched that show with Kathy and we both decided that I should learn how to make them since we won't be going to Lisbon for a while. Here's the recipe for how to do it.
Preparation Time is about 30 minutes. Here's what you'll need to make 18 of them.
1/4 cup - shortening
2 sheets - frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into 18 squares
1/3 cup. - whipping cream
2 cups. - sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
4 Tbsp. - APFlour (All Purpose Flour)
2-1/4 cups- whole milk, divided
3 - Large eggs
7 - Large egg yolks
1 - cinnamon stick
1 - (2 inch) lemon peel
Preheat the oven to 475 F. Grease 3 (6-cup) muffin tins with shortening
Press a square of puff pastry into each muffin cup and form around to make a crust. Brush the rim of each crust with cream and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of sugar across the moistened pastry. Set Aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the APFlour and 1/2 cup of milk until smooth. Set Aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks and Set Aside.
In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, mix together the remaining 1-3/4 cups of milk, cinnamon stick and lemon peel. While constantly whisking, slowly add the milk and flour mixture. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat immediately.
In a separate 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, mix together the remaining 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil, and boil it for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. While whisking constantly, add the sugar mixture to the milk mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Pour through the sieve to strain out any lumps. Remove the lemon peel and discard.
Slowly pour one ladle of the hot liquid into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. This is called tempering the eggs. Tempering warms the eggs up so that they won't start to clump when you add the rest of the hot liquid.
Add the remaining liquid and continue to whisk until fully combined, then transfer the mixture into a measuring cup with a spout.
Pour the mixture into each prepared pastry cup... three quarters full
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tarts puff up and develop black spots.
The tarts taste best at room temperature, but they should be stored in the refrigerator.
If you use this recipe to make these, please save 4 of them for Kathy and Me
Until the Next Time ... So Long from Bob's Diner
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