Pastéis de nata # Portuguese custard tarts

25 de Abril de 2012

Um dia em que mais uma vez se festejou a liberdade. Uma tarde de chuva e ventos uivantes, que por momentos me transportaram de novo para os cenários escritos por Emily Bronte nas páginas de ” O monte dos vendavais”.  E uma fornada de pastéis de nata.

Não pensem que fazê-los foi a minha forma muito pessoal de demonstrar patriotismo e de celebrar o dia da liberdade, o que até não era nada despropositado, afinal estes são talvez os mais celebrados dos doces portugueses. Mas não, confesso que foi apenas vontade de os fazer e de os comer, apenas isso.

E como vale a pena fazê-los em casa! Eu sei que  Pastéis de nata há muitos, bons, maus e assim assim. Mas quando são feitos com ovos caseiros e com a casca de um limão acabado de colher, a coisa ganha toda uma outra dimensão. E mais! ganha-se, merecidamente, o privilégio de comer uma nata ainda morna, ou mesmo quente – se forem tão gulosos ao ponto de não suportarem a espera – coberta por um fino manto de canela acabada de polvilhar, tal como se fosse chuva miudinha.

E enquanto escrevo estas linhas, toca o telefone e alguém do outro lado me diz:
“Parabéns! estavam mesmo boas, até pareciam as de Belém!”

Melhor do que isto só mesmo mais uma nata.

In english 

April 25th  2012

A day to celebrate freedom. A rainy and wuthering afternoon, that for moments transported me to the landscapes written by Emily bronte in the pages of “Wuthering heights”. And a time for baking pastéis de nata or portuguese custard tarts.

Don´t think that baking them was my very personal way of being patriotic, and celebrating freedom day, which by the way, would not be unreasonable, after all these are probably the most cherished of portuguese sweets. No, I confess that it was only the will to bake and eat them what trully moved me, just that, nothing more.

Oh, and how worth it is to bake them at home! I know that there are too many Pastéis de nata, ready for you to buy them at every pastelaria or confeitaria, some good, some bad and some so and so. But when you make them at home with free range chicken eggs and with the peel from that freshly picked lemon, the whole thing gains another dimension. And more! you earn the previlidge of eating a still warm pastel de nata, or even hot! if you are to greedy to wait, covered with a thin mantle of cinnamon, dusted like tiny rain.

And as I write this lines, the phone rings and on the other side someone tells me:
“Congrats! they are really good, they taste just like the ones from Belém!”

Better than this, just one more pastel de nata.


 
Pastéis de nata

Depois de algumas tentativas para encontrar a temperatura do forno e o tempo de cozedura ideais, já que o livro “Cozinha Tradicional Portuguesa” não os especifica com precisão, fica aqui a referência de 260º  (ou o máximo dos fornos a gás) para 15 minutos de cozedura para os pastéis de nata.


Ingredientes: 12 Pastéis de nata
450 g de massa folhada
Para o creme:
5 dl de natas
200 g de açúcar
8 gemas (usei ovos caseiros)
2 colheres de sopa de farinha sem fermento
1 casca de limão

Preparação:
*Estenda a massa folhada finamente e corte círculos ligeiramente maiores do que as formas de queque.
*Forre as formas com a massa folhada (não precisa de as untar, a manteiga da massa folhada é o suficiente). E corte o excesso de massa das bordas passando a lâmina de uma faca.
*Para fazer o creme, misture bem todos os ingredientes e leve ao lume mexendo sempre até levantar fervura e engrossar.
*Deixe arrefecer até ficar morno. Cubra com película aderente para que não crie “pele”.
*Pré-aqueça o forno a 260º, máximo do fogão a gás.
*Recheie os pastéis de nata com o creme e leve ao forno 15 minutos até ficarem bem tostados mas como os fornos não são todos iguais convém vigiar.
*Tire do forno, deixe-os arrefecer, desenforme com a ajuda de uma faca e sirva polvilhados com açúcar em pó ou com canela.

Receita ligeiramente adaptada do livro “Cozinha tradicional portuguesa”



Pastéis de nata
Portuguese custard tarts
After a few baking sessions and since the book “Cozinha Tradicional Portuguesa” don´t specifies it, I give you in this recipe the correct baking time and oven temperature: 260º or the maximum of a gas oven to 15 minutes of baking, for the pastéis de nata.
Nata in english means cream, and for me is the cream and the good quality of the eggs that make a really delicious pastel de nata.
Nowadays we can already buy good quality puff pastry, so you don´t have to worry about making it from scratch. But the custard, when made with the best of ingredients, is the most delicious, soft, melt in the mouth, divine thing to eat inside a puff pastry cup.


Ingredients: 12 Pastéis de nata
450 g puff pastry
For the filling:
5 dl single cream
200 g caster sugar
8 egg yolks (free range chickens)
2 tbs all purpose flour, not self rising
A piece of lemon peel

Preparation:
*Roll the puff pastry thinly, and cut circles slightly bigger than the cupcake tins border.
*Line each tin with 1 circle of pastry (you don´t need to butter the tins, the fat in the pastry is enough). And cut the excess, passing the blade of a knife around the border of the tins.
*To make the custard, mix all the ingredients very well with a whisker and take to the heat, whisking all the time until it comes to a boil and thickens.
*Let it cool until warm, cover the top of the custard with clingfilm to stop it forming a skin.
*Preheat the oven to 260º, maximum of gas oven.
*Fill the pastry lined tins with the custard almost to the top and bake for 15 minutes until dark brown. Don´t forget to watch them because ovens differ a lot.
*Remove from the oven, let them cool a bit, unmold with the help of a knife and dust the Pastéis de nata with icing sugar or, as i prefer, with lots of cinnamon.
*Sooo delicious with a portuguese coffee. You have to try it!

Recipe barely adapted from the book “cozinha tradicional portuguesa”

 

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26 thoughts on “Pastéis de nata # Portuguese custard tarts

  1. Já me estou a ver com um pastel de nata gigante (sim, eu optaria por fazer uma tarte só, pois assim teria mais creme e menos massa folhada, de tão gulosa que sou!!!). Como sempre, ficaram lindos. E não há nada melhor do que comer o que foi feito pot nós, com ingredientes caseiros 🙂

    Gostar

  2. Hello there! I'm very new to your blog which I discovered recently and I find all your recipes wonderful. This one though stole my heart! I have never tasted these custard tarts before and I'm so eager to give them a try. Thank you for this authentic recipe.

    Gostar

  3. Ola! Obrigado pela receita… If you don't mind, I'd rather write in english, since it would take me a lot more to do it in Portuguese (though my mother tongue is portuguese, I was born in France… And if talking is natural, writing in portuguese is another story)
    I love your blog, the stories you share, and particularly your photography that I've been repining a lot lately.
    About the “pasteis de nata”, would you mind sharing the original recipe from the book you mentioned? I'm very curious to know the root of it and the way it was done originally. I'd be very grateful for you to share it with us 🙂
    Also, I've just tried it, today! esta tarde!… and I don't know if the oven was too hot or what, but the cream started very quickly to grow out of its place and “crackled” (I don't know how to describe it really) I've done it exactly as compiled by you. Could you give me some advice or a thought of what you think have been done wrong? Thanks a lot in advance! Your help is needed :)))… I'm quite disappointed .'( but still hungry 😉 😀

    Gostar

  4. Hi Ccil,

    Thank you for your kind words!
    Well, about the recipe the only difference between the original and this one is that in the old days these cakes were baked in a wood oven. The recipe is the same from the book I mwncioned in the post.I only had to adjust it to a modern oven (temperature and baking time). Did you let the cream cool completely? It is important that the cream is cold before you fill the pastry cases. Oh, and as I said in the post, ovens vary so you have to have that in mind too.
    I hope everything goes well when you try the recipe again 🙂

    Gostar

  5. Vai ser já este fim de semana que vou fazer de novo estes pasteís seguindo as suas indicações. Há muito que não os faço. A ver o que os meus amigos(as) portugueses dissem.

    Gostar

  6. These look so phenomenal. The only time I've had pasteis de nata was in Macau and they were so delicious. I've been wanting to recreate them since I'm so far from Macau now! 🙂 Yours look like perfection — I'll have to try it soon. Thank you so much for sharing. P.S. If I haven't said it before, I absolutely adore your blog! Your photography is incredible.

    Gostar

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