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Classic Portuguese Pastéis de Nata: a divine blend of creamy custard and crispy pastry

Classic Portuguese Pastéis de Nata: a divine blend of creamy custard and crispy pastry

Immerse yourself in the delicious world of Pastéis de Nata, a classic Portuguese tart that combines crispy flaky pastry with a smooth, creamy custard filling. These little tartlets are a staple of Portuguese cuisine and have won hearts around the world thanks to their distinct flavor, marked by notes of cinnamon and lemon. The contrast between the flaky, buttery crust and the rich, velvety custard creates a sensory experience that is both satisfying and addictive. Perfect any time of the day, these tartlets are a little bite of heaven.

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Why you'll love it: Pastéis de Nata are not just a treat; they celebrate the coming together of simple ingredients to create something spectacular. The process of making these tartlets is almost as enjoyable as eating them. The aroma of cinnamon and lemon that fills the air while cooking is totally intoxicating. These tarts are perfect for those who enjoy a dessert that is not too sweet but still satisfies a sugar craving. The contrast of textures and the heat of the spices make each bite a delicious escape.

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Perfect occasion: These pies are versatile enough for any occasion. Serve them at brunch for a sweet side that perfectly complements coffee and tea. They are also wonderful as an after-dinner dessert, perhaps accompanied by a glass of port or a creamy liqueur. For celebrations like birthdays or parties, Pastéis de Nata add an elegant touch to your dessert table, offering your guests a taste of Portuguese tradition.

Decorating Tips:

  • Sprinkle the tartlets with powdered sugar and a pinch of cinnamon before serving to enhance their visual appeal and flavor.
  • Garnish with a lemon zest for a chic look.
  • Serve on a colorful platter or vintage cake stand to make them stand out.
  • Serve with a small bowl of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for those who want more indulgence.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g puff pastry
  • 250 ml of whole milk
  • 140g of sugar
  • 60 ml of water
  • 20g cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1.5 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 strips of lemon zest
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Roll out the puff pastry and cut it into 12 uniform pieces. Place each piece in the muffin tins, shaping the dough to line the tins with a slight overhang.
  3. Create a syrup by simmering the sugar and water until a pearly consistency, then set aside.
  4. Mix a small amount of milk with the cornstarch to make sure there are no lumps.
  5. Heat the remaining milk with the cinnamon sticks and lemon zest until boiling, then stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  6. Remove from the heat, add the syrup and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon and lemon zest.
  7. Temper the egg yolks by mixing them with a little pudding, then gradually mix in with the rest of the pudding.
  8. Pass the custard through a sieve to ensure it is smooth.
  9. Fill the pastry-lined molds with the custard, leaving a margin at the top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastries are golden and crisp.
  11. Let the tartlets cool slightly before serving.

Savor these exquisite Pastéis de Nata, a true testimony to the charm of Portuguese pastries!

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