Portugese Egg Tarts (Pastéis de Nata)

Ingredients

Recipe adapted from Leites Culinaria

Makes 12-16 tarts

  • 1.5 sheets Pampas all butter puff pastry
  •  3 tablespoons plain flour
  •  1 1/2 cups milk (divided into 1cup + 1/2 cup)
  •  1 cup white sugar
  •  1 cinnamon stick
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  6 large egg yolks, whisked
  • 50g butter melted

Utensils

  • medium saucepan
  • 12 – 16 egg tart molds. I use these Chwee kueh (rice cake) molds because my mom bought me 60 of them. 30 the first time then another 30 because she forgot she already bought them.

or

  • 12 hole muffin tray

Method

  1. Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven and preheat to as high as your oven will go (over 250C is best)
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup of milk and flour together until smooth and put aside.
  3. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and put aside
  4. Heat sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Do not stir (thermometer should read 100C). Remove cinnamon stick once mixture has boiled.
  5. Heat remaining milk until it comes to boil, then slowly pour it into flour/ milk mixture.
  6. Add sugar syrup into milk and flour mixture and whisk, then slowly mix in egg yolks.
  7. Strain mixture into a measuring jug and set aside to cool.
  8. Cut puff pastry sheet into half so that you have 3 halves. You will need 2 full sheets of puff pastry and place remaining 1/2 of one sheet back in the freezer.
  9. Brush butter on the first layer of puff pastry, then place another layer of puff pastry on top of it.
  10. Brush butter on the second layer of puff pastry and place the third layer of puff pastry on top. You should have a even 3 layer stack of puff pastry.
  11. Brush remaining butter on the top of the puff pastry stack, and tightly roll the puff pastry into a log, starting with the SHORT EDGE.
  12. Roll out the log slightly so that the log gets a bit narrower.
  13. Depending on what mold you are using, cut the log into 12 equal pieces (muffin tray) or 16 (egg tart molds).
  14. Press each piece of the pastry into the mold using your thumb and flatten the pastry using an outward motion till the pastry covers the sides of the mold. Dip your thumb in some water if it sticks to the dough. The pastry should cover 3/4 of each muffin hole or completely cover the sides of the egg tart mold. The bottom of the pastry should also be thinner than the sides of the pastry.
  15. Give the egg custard mixture a stir and fill each pastry cup 3/4 of the way to the top.
  16. Put muffin tray/ egg tart molds (on a tray) into oven and bake for 13-18 mins until the top of the custard is caramelised and blistered. Check after 13 minutes and peak into the oven and let it bake for another few minutes if custard is not caramelised enough. It takes 16mins in my oven at 260C.
  17. Remove from oven and let cool in mold for a few minutes. Once cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to run it around the edge of the tarts and transfer to a rack.
  18. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder to serve.

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