Technical Challenge Week 6 – Pasteis de Nata

Pasteis

Pasteis de Nata, or Portuguese Tarts, are one of my favourite things to eat. If you’re ever in the Cardiff area, make sure to visit Nata & Co. – it’s a Portuguese bakery where they sell all kinds of delicious bakes, including the famous tart.

Don’t be daunted by the pastry – make sure you use plenty of flour underneath, and regularly lift the dough to ensure it doesn’t stick. Trust me – they’re worth it!!!

Makes 12 Tarts

Ingredients

Dough

  •  125g (1 cup) flour
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 115mL (1/2 cup) water
  • 110g (1 stick) butter

Custard

  •  12g (1 tsp and 1 tbsp) flour
  • 148mL (2/3 cup) milk
  • 132g (2/3 cups) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 80mL (1/3 cup) water
  • 1/4tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks

Method

Dough

  1. Mix together the flour, salt, and water until combined. It should be a nice, soft, dough. Add a little more flour or water, if required.
  2. Roll into a 12.5″ square. Take one-third of the butter and spread across the left two-thirds of the dough, leaving a 1″ gap around the edges. Fold the right (unbuttered) third into the middle, and then fold the left side into the middle (see slideshow below for further clarification). Turn the dough by 90 degrees.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  3. Roll out to a 12.5″ square again and repeat as before with a further third of butter.
  4. Roll the dough into a 9″ x 21″ rectangle with the short side towards you, and use the remaining butter to cover the dough. Working carefully, tightly roll the dough towards you, brushing off excess flour from the bottom as you roll.
  5. Trim the ends and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight. You can also freeze the dough at this point.

Custard

  1. Whisk the flour and 30mL (1/8 cup) of the milk together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the sugar, water, and cinnamon together until it reaches 100ºC (220ºF).
  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining milk to a separate saucepan, and scald (until 82ºC/180ºF). Whisk this into the flour/milk mixture.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick and then pour the syrup into the flour/milk mixture, whisking together as you do. Add the vanilla and leave to cool for a minute before whisking in the egg yolks.
  5. Strain the mixture into a clean jug. The custard does not need to be thick at this point.

Baking

  1. Pre-heat your oven to your highest setting (mine was 250ºC), and remove your dough from the fridge.
  2. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces, and place one piece into each cavity in your muffin tin. You may need to let your dough soften out of the fridge slightly before continuing.
  3. Using your thumbs, push the dough down into the tin until the base is covered, then push up the sides of the tin to create the sides. Repeat with all of your dough.
  4. Pour your custard into each cup of dough so it is three-quarters full, and bake until they are brown around the edges and on top (around 12-15 minutes).
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. They are best eaten warm!

This recipe has been adapted from leitesculinaria.com. You can find the recipe here.

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