Pastel de Nata is probably the most known pastry from Portugal. A lot of people know it, many love it, but how exactly is it made? It must be pretty hard to make it yourself, right? If you think so, you thought wrong! It’s actually very easy to make.
Pastel de Nata doesn’t actually come from Lisbon, as many things, but from Belém. While today (I think) it belongs to Lisbon, in the 1800 Belém was a separate city from Lisbon. There is a monastery called Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, which is still very popular and can even be visited. In 1837, the monks needed money to keep the monastery alive, so they started selling the Pastéis de Belém. People loved them and the recipe is a secret until today! The place in Belém where the original Pastéis are sold, still calls them Pastéis de Belém, but everywhere else they are called Pastéis de Nata. The ground recipe is basically the same and there are some people who like the “fake” version better than the original one from Belém. And today I am showing you the recipe I use to make them, which is very easy (and yummy!).
- 1 big egg
- 2 big egg yolks
- 115 gram brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch – for my readers in Portugal (Mom), you can use Maizena.
- 400 ml whole milk
- 2 Teespoon vanilla extract
- 1 package puff pastry – of course you can also make this yourself
- Put some oil in a muffin baking tray and pre-heat your oven to 200ºC. I pre-heated it at 180ºC, you may need to adapt to your oven.
- Mix the egg and the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch in a pot. Then add the milk slowly and keep stirring until the mixture is even.
- Set the pot in medium heat, until the mixture starts getting thick, while continuously stirring. When it starts to boil, take it from the stove and add the vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover it, so it doesn’t get a crust.
- Take the puff pastry and roll it out. With a glass, cut out round pieces, you can use your hands to make it bigger, and set them in the muffin bakind tray. If it is necessary, you can pull the sides up with your hands.
- Pour the mixture with the help of two spoons and let it bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
It is this easy to make your very own Pastel de Nata! Have you ever tried this beloved Portuguese pastry?