Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts)


(12 tartlets Units)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 5 -7 tablespoons ice water


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks


Make the pastry.

In the bowl of a meals processor having a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine.

Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 1-second pulses.

Drizzle 5 tablespoons with the ice water over the mixture.

Pulse quite a few times to work the water into the flour.

Add the remaining water, A single tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the mixture develops little curds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness.

Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles.

(If you do not 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.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Place the tin inside the freezer for 5 minutes.

Remove and trim any overhang on the back of the knife so that the pastry cups are flush in the top on the tins.

Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights.

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes to set.

Make the custard.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream inside a medium bowl.

Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth as well as the sugar dissolves.

Check for sugar granules using a spoon; none must remain.

In a smaller bowl, blend the yolks using a fork until smooth.

Add the yolks on the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.

Ladle the egg mixture to the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity.

Bake in at 350°F (180°C) until the edges from the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool entirely within the tin.

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