Monday, 21 May 2012

Pasteis de Nata

With my previous job I use to have to travel to Portugal fairly frequently and as well as making some good friends I also developed a love for Pasteis de Nata or Pasteis de Belem, which is the name given to the version which allegedly is the original recipe.

Now my understanding is that the original recipe is a closely guarded secret, but I got the recipe below from my friend and I have to say it wasn't a bad attempt!

Start by getting a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry. In a slight variation on the traditional I sprinkled the pastry with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Then from the long side roll the pastry into a sausage shape

Slice into 12 even rolls

And squash or roll each one into a circle to line a muffin tin. Don't worry about being too neat. I've not seen any looking very uniform.

Put the pastry to one side and then carry on by whisking 6 egg yolks with 120g of caster sugar until it is very pale and fluffy. I used my Kitchen Aid table top mixer for this. Then slowly whisk in 300ml of cream.

Put this into a saucepan and heat on a very low heat until it thickens slightly. DO NOT allow it to boil otherwise you'll end up with scrambled egg and waste all of your lovely ingredients.

Once thickened pour the custard into each of the pastry lined muffin tins.

Bake at 250C* for about 20 mins. Until the tops are light brown and the custard is set with a slight wobble.

Traditionally they're served sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar.

*As I've said before I always try and trust a recipe the first time and then make alterations if necessary. In this case I found the very hot oven meant that the top burnt before the filling and patty was cooked. So in future I'd lower the temperature quite significantly, maybe to about 200C and probably even blind bake the pastry (no one likes soggy bottoms!). To rescue mine I covered them in tin foil to stop them going any browner but to allow them longer to cook.

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