The Pastel de Nata is a traditional portuguese egg tart that you can find everywhere around Lisbon. The original recipe was created by the Jerònimos Monastery, in Santa Maria de Belem in 1837, and sold as a way to make the monastery survive after the liberal revolution. Today you can still taste the original, unchanged, secret recipe of the Pasteis de Belem, but only in the store next to the Belem Monastery. You can taste the pastels in other stores, such as Confeitaria Nacional and Fabrica de Nata, but even though they are lovely they definitely have a different taste from the ones in Belem.
Well I fell totally in love with these tarts and wanted to try out the recipe (as apparently they aren’t quite that hard to make)! But bear with me, this was the first time for me trying them out on my own.
- 4 egg yolks
- 200 ml of fresh cream
- 50 ml of milk
- 100 gr of sugar
- 1/2 a spoon of flour or cornflour
- lemon peel
- cinnamon or icing sugar
First of all butter the cups you will use to cook the tarts in (I managed to make 12 small tarts with this recipe). Use a round shape (such as a glass) to cut out circles from your puff pastry and line the cups with the pastry, then gently prick the bottom of the cups to avoid having the pastry inflate on the bottom while it cooks.
In the meantime separate the egg yolks from the whites in a bowl, and add all of your ingredients: sugar, cream, milk, flour and lemon peels. Stir thoroughly until the mixture is smooth.
Put all your ingredients in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil always mixing, to avoid having clumps. Stir until the mixture becomes creamy, then move from the heat and let it rest whilst mixing once in a while.
Remove the lemon peels from your mixture and with the help of a spoon fill your cups generously.
Cook at 225°c for about 13 to 15 minutes.
Serve warm sprinkled with cinnamon or with icing sugar.
(I know my pastels aren’t made with puff pastry but I only had shortcrust pastry, and the cream came out to be excellent!)