Pasteis de Nata (Custard Tarts)

Total Time
40mins
Prep
20 mins
Cook
20 mins

A trulty delicious custard tartlet. They might not look very good but everyone who tastes them loves them. I have to have them at every party I give. A traditional Portuguese pastry. Not sure about the prep or cook times, I only made them once many years ago, its easier to buy them ;-) adapted from "Foods of the Azores Islands" by Deolinda Maria Avila (Self-published, 1977) Makes 12 pastries Make sure the pastry ingredients are well chilled and the custard ingredients are at room temperature. The pastry is partially baked before filling to eliminate an uncooked pastry layer that sometimes can result.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Make the pastry.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 1-second pulses.
  4. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture.
  5. Pulse several times to work the water into the flour.
  6. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the mixture develops small curds.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness.
  10. Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles.
  11. (If you don't have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well.) Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds.
  12. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  13. Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  14. Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins.
  15. Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights.
  16. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes to set.
  17. Make the custard.
  18. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream in a medium bowl.
  19. Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves.
  20. Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.
  21. In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth.
  22. Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
  23. Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity.
  24. Bake in at 350°F (180°C) until the edges of the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  25. (The custard will continue to cook.) Cool completely in the tin.
  26. The pastéis are best when eaten the same day.