I have very fond memories of making pastel de nata with Sophia in the JE community kitchen in college. She basically held my hand and translated the recipe from Portuguese for me. I keep calling them the national pastry of Portugal. I am not sure if that's true, but I do know that when I was in Portugal I saw them everywhere and was sure to eat them every day.
They are a yummy custard in a pastry shell made in a cupcake tin. Technically they aren't cuppies, I know. But they are shaped like cupcakes, and therefore must be part of the same happy, yummy family.
Obrigada, Sophia, for the recipe :)
Pastel de Nata - makes 12
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6-8 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, slowly add five tablespoons of cold water and mix together with the fork.
- Add the lemon juice. Mix with the fork.
- Add the remaining tablespoons of water one at a time. You don't want the flour to be too moist. I used a total of 7 tablespoons, per Sophia's recommendations.
- Roll the dough onto a surface sprinkled with flour. Work the butter one tablespoon at a time into the dough with the fork. You want the dough to end up fluffy so don't work it in too much. Be sure to get the butter in all parts of the dough (not just in one area). After you add one tablespoon, fold up the dough and re-roll it and add the next tablespoon of butter. Repeat until you have added all of the butter.
- Place in the refrigerator.
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- Using a double-boiler (or a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water), stir the egg yolks and cup of sugar with a wooden spoon until well-mixed.
- Add the cream and salt and continuously stir. Do not allow contents to collect on the side of the bowl or the bottom. Keep stirring! At a magical point in time, the consistency will thicken. Keep stirring until the custard is thick enough to stick on the spoon when lifted from the mixture.
- Pour into a bowl for it to cool.
Putting it all together...
1. Take the dough from the fridge and roll out to 1/4- 1/8 inch thick. Use a glass (I used a pint glass) to cut circles from the dough. Spread it out carefully with your fingers to fit into the cupcake tin.
2. Fill the dough cups to the top with the custard filling.