Pasteis de nata

Text overlayI love a good flaky milk tart so it should come as no surprise that these Portuguese custard tarts have a special place in my heart. There is no better reward after biting through the flaky butter pastry than the rich, creamy custard filling. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Traditionally you do need to use a cook’s blowtorch to caramelise the icing sugar but I’ve managed to get away with the oven grill.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g all butter puff pastry
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • 300ml full cream milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and prepare a small muffin case with spray and cook.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry according to packet instructions and cut twelve circles slightly larger than the muffin base. Do allow for some shrinkage. Carefully place each cutout in the pan.
  3. Line with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes with baking beans or rice if you don’t have any.
  4. Remove the baking beans and paper and bake the cases for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar, flour and vanilla extract together in a heat proof bowl.
  6. Bring the milk to the boil and then whisk it into the egg mixture. Pour it back into the pot and bring to the boil whilst whisking.
  7. Remove it from the heat once it starts boiling and pour into a cool bowl. Dot with butter and allow to cool.
  8. Once cooled, mix well and spoon the mixture into the pastry cases. Dust with icing sugar and then  caramelise the tops with a cook’s blowtorch or grill in the oven (keep a watchful eye on your precious bites as they burn easily).
  9. Devour once the custard has cooled to avoid burning the roof of your mouth.

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