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Pastéis de Nata – Portuguese Custard Tarts

Pastéis de Nata

If you have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to Portugal, just the thought of Pastéis de Nata is enough to make you feel nostalgic. This decadent dessert is famously recognized for its distinctive caramelized, Crème Brûlée-like topping, says Chef Ajesh KA, a Pastry Sous Chef, at Cidade de Goa, by IHCL SeleQtions. 

Without a doubt, Pastéis de Nata is Portugal’s favourite dessert. At Cidade de Goa, we have been baking this delicious goodness over the past decade. Alfama brings to you a slice of Portugal in the heart of Goa. A childhood favourite of mine, I recommend relishing them slightly warmed for the custard to be perfectly smooth and creamy along with a cup of coffee.

History of Pastéis de Nata:

This delicate Portuguese Egg Custard Tart traces back to the 13th century, originally made by the monks in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal. Similar to many other Portuguese-Goan desserts, this recipe was the outcome of excess egg yolks collected from separating the egg whites used in starching clothes. 

After the Liberal Revolution of 1820, the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery suffered a financial crisis and had to resort to selling desserts to a nearby sugar refinery. Eventually, in 1834, the monastery closed and the recipe was sold to the sugar refinery. 

A few years later, the refinery owners opened Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, where to date one can purchase the signature dessert that is prepared based on the ancient recipe.

Pastéis de Nata: 

Pipe pastry cream in the tart.

Add cinnamon sugar on the top and torch until slightly caramelised.

Ingredients

Pastry Cream:

Milk – 500 ml

Egg Yolk – 7 nos

Castor Sugar – 90 gms

Corn Flour – 75 gms

Butter – 50 gms

Vanilla Essence – 5 ml

Puff Pastry:

Refined Flour – 500 gms

Butter – 500 gms

Salt – 5 gms

Method of Preparation

Pastry Cream:

Boil milk and add castor sugar.

Mix egg yolk and cornflour in a bowl, add in boiling milk and mix well.

Add butter and vanilla essence.

Puff Pastry:

Knead flour and salt together adding 250 ml cold water.

Laminate the dough with butter and set to freeze.

Sheet the dough to make the tart.

Bake the tart until fully done.

By Ajesh KA – Pastry Sous Chef, Cidade de Goa – IHCL SeleQtions

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