Every society and community has its items of pride. The Irish speak of Guinness with an air of supreme joy and rightly so. The English speak of their football team as if it should wins every world cup and with their pool of talent rightly so. But to be fair when you arrive on a holiday to Lagos in Portugal’s Algarve one of their proudest boasts is not just their soccer team. The humble Pastel de Nata is spoken about with reverence showing a national pride in a small custard cake.Today I would like to pass onto to you a recipe for the now wonderful famous Portuguese Tart “Pastel de Nata”
A friend of mine was lucky enough to go on a family-self-catering-holiday-Lagos on the Western Algarve. All the small cafes were serving these beautiful little custards tarts. Eventhought she was staying in her own holiday home there was no way she would or to be fair could bake. But she was raving about these little tarts when she got home so I decided with a level of success to give them ago. Here is the recipe I used.
PORTUGUESE TART RECIPE
- 1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks
- 115 grams caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 200ml cream
- 200ml milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
The tarts made from these ingredients serves up to twelve people. But you can still double the ingredients if you want to make them for a large number of people, still you reduce the ingredients if the people you are serving is small.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks, then add the required amount of sugar and cornflour till the mixture combines, then whisk in the cream and milk until the mixture has a fine texture.
- Pre – heat the pan in low heat and cooking, ensure constant stirring, this helps in thickening the mixture and enables it to boil.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the custard into a bowl to allow it to cool. Cover the custard with a cling film to prevent another layer from forming.
- Preheat the oven to 200C, and lightly grease a 12-hole 80ml muffin tray.
- The oven should be set to 200c and oil the tray to avoid sticking.
- Slice the puffed pastry sheet in sizes of half, place one half on top of the other, and put it aside for roughly 5 minutes.
- Roll the pastry tightly and cut the pastry log into twelve 1 cm rounds. Flour the surface and roll the pasty using a rolling pin and ensure that each disc is thin and 10cm in diameter.
- Form the pastry rounds into the muffin tin, and then spoon the custard into pastry cases.
- Set the time to 20 minutes or until the pasty and custard are golden, the top of the custard should be blackened in some places if not then the custard is not ready.
- Leave the tarts in the baking tin for 5 minutes or so and transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon and icing sugar and the tart is ready to be served.
The beauty of serving your tart in your own self catering apartment is that you can sit anywhere around the house and enjoy whether alone or with guest. We have no doubt apart from great memories the vision of those tarts will remind you of your wonder holiday in Lagos or some other great location like Albufeira where ever you rented your holiday property.
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