Portuguese Tarts (Pastel de Nata)
Preparation
40 MIN
Cooking
20 MIN
Chilling
30 MIN
Output
14 tarts

Portuguese Tarts (Pastel de Nata)

Ingredients

    Dough

  • 1 sheet 225 g (½ lb) puff pastry, thawed
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

    Filling

  • 125 ml (½ cup) sugar
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) corn syrup
  • 2.5 ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • Ground cinnamon, to taste

Preparation

Dough

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 33 cm (13-inch) square. With a brush, cover the entire surface of the dough with the butter. Roll up tightly and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the ends of the roll. Cut into 14 slices.
  3. On a floured work surface, thinly roll out each slice with a rolling pin. With your hands, line Portuguese tart pans (see note). If the dough is too large, cut off the excess with scissors. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Filling

  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 270 °C (525 °F) (see note).
  2. In a saucepan off the heat, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and egg and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, corn syrup, vanilla and cinnamon stick. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Simmer until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat. Strain through a sieve.
  4. With a 45 ml (3 tbsp) ice cream scoop, spoon the filling into the tart pans. Smooth out the top of the filling with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake immediately for 13 to 15 minutes or until the top is caramelized and the crust is crispy. Let cool before unmoulding.
  6. Generously dust with cinnamon before serving.

Note

Portuguese tart pans can be found in most Portuguese grocery stores.

In a pinch, you can make these tarts in muffin tins. You can bake the tarts at 260 °C (500 °F) if your oven reaches that temperature, and finish under the broiler if you do not find that the custard is brown enough. The next day, warm up the tarts in a warm oven for about 5 minutes. They will be as good as the day before.