Portuguese custard tarts
Make classic Portuguese custard tarts (Pastéis de Nata) with our step-by-step guide. Dusting the pastry with icing sugar gives the tarts a golden, caramelised crust when cooked
- Serves: 24 persons
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 2tbsp icing sugar, plus more to serve
- 375g all butter puff pastry
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 2strips lemon zest
- 1stick cinnamon
- 4egg yolks
- 50g cornflour
- 500ml whole milk
- 1pod vanilla, split lengthways, seeds scraped out and kept
- ground cinnamon to serve
Step 1Mix the flour and icing sugar, and use this to dust the work surface. Roll the pastry out to make a 45 x 30cm rectangle. Roll up lengthways to create a long sausage shape.
Step 2Cut the pastry into 24 wheels, about 1-2cm thick.
Step 3Roll each wheel lightly with the rolling pin to fit 2 x 12-hole non-stick fairy cake tins.
Step 4Press the pastry circles into the tins and mould into the tins to make thin cases. Chill until needed.
Step 5Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Make a sugar syrup by bringing the sugar, 200ml water, lemon zest and cinnamon stick to the boil. Reduce until syrupy, allow to cool, then remove the cinnamon and lemon. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and cornflour until smooth in another large pan.
Step 6Heat the milk and vanilla pod seeds in a separate pan until just below the boil. Gradually pour the hot milk over the eggs and cornflour, then cook on a low heat, continually whisking.
Step 7Add the cooled sugar syrup to the custard and whisk until thickened slightly.
Step 8Pour the custard through a sieve. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the custard has darkened.
Step 9Cool completely in the tins then sift over icing sugar and ground cinnamon to serve.