Dessert/ European recipes/ Sweet/ Vegetarian

Pasteis de Nata

6 December 2020

I love these little custard cinnamon bombs! Usually I just buy 1 in at a bakery or coffee shop, I didn’t realize how dangerous it was to make them yourself. The creamy cinnamon custard was amazing, tasted really authentic. And yes, I’m talking past tense here, we finished them all in 1 day!… In our defence, they’re very small…

I didn’t make the puff pastry this time around, I’m still trying to get my head around sourdough at the moment, but will definitely do it next time.

Inspired by a recipe from Laura’s Bakery.

Pasteis de Nata

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Dessert, pastry Portuguese
By Saffron Serves: 18
Prep Time: 30 - 45 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1,5 roll puff pastry
  • 30 g all purpose flour
  • 300 ml full fat milk
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tsp vanilla-extract
  • 6 egg yolks (M)
  • Flour for dusting
  • Butter for greasing the muffin tin

Instructions

The custard

1

In a bowl mix the flour and 50 ml of milk, whisk until smooth and set aside.

2

In a small saucepan add the sugar, cinnamon and water and shake the pan around a bit so all the sugar is coated by the water.

3

Bring to a boil and resist the urge to stir with a spoon, this will crystalize the sugar, which we don't want. All you need to do is swirl the pan now and then.

4

Heat until 100-105°C, using a sugar thermometer (see notes), ± 15 minutes.

5

In the meantime in another pan heat the rest of the milk until just before it starts to boil.

6

Mix the hot milk through the flour mixture.

7

When the sugar syrup is done carefully remove the cinnamon stick and slowly add the syrup to the milk and flour mixture. Keep stirring with a whisk.

8

Add the vanilla essence and stir through.

9

Let the mixture cool slightly (±5 minutes) while you stir now and then. The mixture needs to be cool enough so it doesn't cook the egg yolks right away when you add them.

10

When cool enough mix through the egg yolks while you keep on whisking. Cover and set aside.

11

Preheat the oven to 280°C (top and bottom heat) and place the grill in the top 3rd of the oven.

The pastry

12

Note: One puff pastry sheet makes 12 pies, so that's why you need 1,5 puff pastry sheets. Leave the puff pastry you're not using yet in the fridge until you start making the 2nd batch.

13

Grease a muffin tin with butter and a light dusting with flour to help the pies not stick to the pan.

14

Roll out the puff pastry sheet so you can remove the baking paper.

15

Roll up the sheet again into a sausage form and divide the pastry into 12 pieces.

16

Dust your work surface and rolling pin with a bit of flour if needed.

17

Lay each roll on it's side and roll them out as thinly as possible with a rolling pin into a circle, ±10-12 cm diameter.

18

Place these pastry circles in the muffin tin, try and get them as high as possible.

19

Prick a few holes in the bottom with a fork.

Assembling the pies

20

I recommend to transfer the custard mixture to a pouring jug so it's easier to divide over the muffin tin.

21

Fill each pastry until 3/4 of the height (don't worry, the mixture is supposed to be quite runny).

22

Bake the custard pies for 10-15 minutes at 280°C. If your oven doesn't each 280°C you need to bake it longer, keep an eye on the caramelization and you'll be fine.

23

Keep an eye on them after 10 minutes, because they will burn quickly. A bit of charring is lovely though, so don't take them out too soon!

24

Let the pasteis de nata cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tin.

25

They're lovely eaten warm, but also great when cooled.

26

Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or cinnamon (optional).

Notes

Sugar Syrup: I don't actually have a sugar thermometer, so another way to check if the syrup is ready is to take some out with a spoon and pour it onto a small plate. The syrup is ready when it pours off the spoon in a sticky thread and not like water. It took me ± 15 minutes of boiling to get to the right consistency.

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