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Portuguese Custard Tarts
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins

These Portuguese Custard tarts have a crisp puff pastry shell and are filled with a rich spiced, zesty custard.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Portuguese
Keyword: Pastry
Servings: 9 people
Author: Emma Walton
For the custard
  • 250 grams golden caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon unwaxed, zest only
  • 3.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour
  • 300 millilitres whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 vanilla pod seeds only
For the pastry case
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 300 grams all-butter puff pastry
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
To dust
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230C or gas mark 8.

For the custard filling
  1. In a saucepan, gently dissolve the caster sugar in 250ml of water along with the cinnamon stick and lemon zest.

  2. Heat the sugar syrup until it begins to boil before reducing to a simmer for 3 minutes.

  3. Place the syurp to one side and let it cool completely.

  4. In a bowl, mix together the plain flour and cornflour.

  5. Add some of the milk and stir until it forms a smooth paste.

  6. Heat the reamining milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring frequently.

  7. Once it has reached boiling point, slowly pour it into the bowl of flour, whisking well to make sure there are no lumps.

  8. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, remove the cinnamon stick and lemon zest from the sugar syrup and whisk the sugar syrup into the milk and flour.

  9. Next add the egg yolks, one by one, whisking well.

  10. Finally, whisk in the whole egg followed by the seeds of the vanilla pod.

For the pastry cases
  1. Dust a clean flat surface with the flour.

  2. Roll the pastry out into a long rectangle (roughly 50cm long) until it is only 1mm thick (in other words, as thin as you can get it!)

    Pastel Da Nata Pastry
  3. Spin the pastry until the long edge is facing you then dust with the icing sugar and nutmeg.

  4. Roll the long edge of the pastry towards you as tight as possible.

  5. Cut the pastry sausage into 12 equal pieces.

  6. Place those pieces on their end, so the spiral is facing up.

    Pastel Da Nata Pastry
  7. Roll the pieces into disks roughly 1mm thin.

  8. Lightly grease a muffin tin and gently ease the discs into the tin - using a wet finger to push the pastry into the corners.

  9. Place the muffin tins on to an oven shelf in the centre of the oven before filling with the custard until they are almost full.

  10. Cook for 20 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and the top of the tarts are scorched.

  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before dusting with a little icing sugar.

    Fresh Portuguese Custard Tarts