Portuguese pastéis de nata recipe
Behind the Portuguese specialty Pastéis de Nata are probably the tastiest puddings in the world. We know the recipe and show you how to quickly and easily bake them yourself.
Pastéis de Natas not only taste delicious, it is also worthwhile to deal with the custard tarts. Because there is an exciting story behind the pastéis de nata. The recipe for the Portuguese tarts was probably developed as early as the 18th century. A monk from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos monastery, which is in Belém, a district of Lisbon, is considered the inventor. At that time it was customary to fortify the nuns’ clothing with egg white. And that meant above all: a lot of egg yolk that was left over. This is how the monks developed the custard tarts, which consist largely of egg yolk.
Years later, the pastéis de nata are said to have even helped the nuns and monks survive. Because in 1820, as part of the liberal revolution, all monasteries in Portugal were closed. So the monastery of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belem started selling the tartlets to a neighboring sugar factory. The descendants of the first trader still run the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém today.
The original recipe for Pastéis de Natas is top secret
When visiting Lisbon, you should definitely stop by said bakery in Belém – because although there are pastéis de nata on every corner of Lisbon, these are special here. Because they are still made according to the same recipe as in the 18th century. The recipe is top secret: only three bakers worldwide know it.
But there is one occasion in which a pastéis de nata is particularly important: at a wedding. Because an old Portuguese proverb says “A bride who eats a cupcake will never take her ring off.”, as can be read on the G Adventures blog. The tartlets not only taste good, they also bring good luck! If that’s not a reason to try the recipe yourself.
Pastéis de nata recipe
Ingredients (for 12 pieces)
2 egg yolks
120 grams of sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch (starch)
400 ml whole milk
1 roll of ready-to-bake puff pastry from the refrigerated section
Separate two eggs and place the yolks in each bowl. Mix the egg, yolks, sugar and starch in a saucepan. Gradually add the milk and mix everything until smooth.
Place the pot on the stove and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens like pudding and is bubbling. Then decant and cover with cling film.
Preheat the oven to 200°C top and bottom heat.
Defrost the chilled puff pastry and unwrap. Cut once along half the long side to create two equal pieces of dough. Place the halves on top of each other and roll up tightly.
Cut the resulting roll of dough into 12 equal slices. Flatten the particles with the heel of your hand or a glass until the diameter is slightly larger than the muffin cups. Then pour into the muffin tin, covering the edges of the tins.
Fill molds with pudding and put in the oven for about 22-25 minutes.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.