Pasteis de Nata

These tasty treats hail from Portugal. I used to eat them at Portuguese bakeries in Toronto when I lived in little Portugal. Now living elsewhere, I miss them and must have them. So we must make them!
I referenced a recipe from Leite’s Culinaria. She has a very helpful video! I am using her work as guidance but made a variation here.

For the dough, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 7 tablespoons of water
  • pinch of salt
  • a bit more flour for rolling
  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter

For the custard you’ll need:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Yields 12 pasteis.

Let’s make the dough! This was tricky.

  1. Place these in a mixing bowl and mix mix mix until the dough pulls away from the sides. If you are making this by hand, warning, it will be sticky. That’s OK.
  2. Next, you are going to move the dough to a floured surface. Again, this is sticky! May I recommend you try to shape it into a square shape because you’ll need to roll it out soon.

3. Next, we are going to roll out. I rolled it out as much as I could on this cutting board without making any holes.

4. Then you put 1/3 of your stick of butter on the right half the dough.

Time to laminate!
5. We now need to smooth that butter out, before we fold the dough onto itself.

6. Roll it out again! Do the lamination again too. Another 1/3 of that stick of butter, on the right half of the dough. Fold it on itself, rotate 90 degrees, and roll out thin.

watch as I do round 2!

7. Third and final lamination (?) except we are going to roll it up into a log the time. We put the last 1/3 of a stick of butter on, but now ALL ACROSS the dough, not just to the side. I trimmed the dough a bit so it would be a nice, even rectangle. Smush all the butter down.

then, we roll!

8. Ok ok so full disclosure, in the picture I doubled the recipe, so it made two logs. Yours, you will have one log, or maybe you decide to cut it in two. I chopped off the wobbly ends, making a nice clean finish. Either way, wrap this up in some plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple hours (at least).

Now onto the custard!

9. Get out two saucepans. In one, the cinnamon stick, water and sugar. Make sure to put it on low, stick a thermometer in, no stirring. Let the cinnamon impart it’s essence, organically.

10. At the same time, warm one cup of half and half in another sauce pan. You want this scalding but not quite boiling.
11. In a mixing bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of half and half with 2 tablespoons of flour into a “roux”. Once the milk is scalding, pour it into your “roux” and whisk. Mix in your vanilla extract.
12. When your sugar water reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit, take it off the heat. Use tongs to pull out the cinnamon stick and then gently incorporate the sugar water into the creamy mixture. Allow to cool a bit.

13. Finally, after allowing the mixture a couple of moments to cool, whisk in the egg yolks. Be sure they are fully incorporated. To be sure there’s no scrambled eggs, pour your custard mixture through a sieve and into a glass measuring cup. This will make it easier to pour your custard into tarts.

14. Time for assembly! After your dough has chilled, pull it out and chop into 12 evenly sized discs.

15. Place your discs in the greased tins, I sprayed mine with some Pam first.

16. After waiting a few minutes, grab a small dish of water and get ready to smoosh your little discs up the wall of the cupcake tin.

17. When you are all done, we can fill up the cups with custard!

18. Turn your oven on full whack, 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your pasteis in for about 12-15 minutes. They will look a bit “burnt” when they come out but this is intentional! They are super yum this way.

Delicious! The crunch when you bite in is ASMR. ENJOY!

Leave me something Sweet

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