What is a "Pastel de Nata"? (Plural: Pastéis de Nata). The "Pastel de Nata" is a small cream tart found throughout Portugal's pastry shops or cafés.
It is believed that it was created before the 18th century by Catholic Sisters at the Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) of Belém, in Lisbon.
Casa Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon was the first place outside the convent selling this creamy dessert, and there they're called Pastéis de Belém, after the name of the area.
Since 1837, people have come here to get them warm out of the oven and sprinkled with the cinnamon and powdered sugar.
It was the sweet chosen to represent Portugal in the Café Europe initiative of the Austrian presidency of the European Union, on Europe Day 2006
Here is the recipe (modified a bit by me...I did not have the mental strength to do the dough....so I bought a roll of "pâte feuilletée" ready to be used) of Pastéis de Nata:
Ingredients: (makes 12)
- 3 egg yolks
- 115g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons of corn flour
- 230ml cream
- 170ml milk
- 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- Put the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a saucepan and whisk together.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and the cream until smooth, cinnamon stick and lemon peel.
- Place the pan over medium heat and cook stirring until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the custard to a bowl to cool down.
- Preheat the oven to 190degres/gas 5. Lightly grease a 12 holes 80ml muffin tin.
- Cut the pastry sheet in half. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top and put one half on top of the other.
- Roll up the pastry tightly from the short end and cut he pastry log into twelve 1cm rounds.
- Roll out each pastry until they're 10cm in diameter.
- Press the pastry rounds into the muffin tin.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon from the custard.
- Spoon the cooled custard into the pastry cases and bake for 25 minutes until the pastry and custard are golden.
- Leave the tarts in the tins for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top for those who like it.