Saturday, January 04, 2014

Pasteis de Nata (Donna Hay)

Pastéis de Nata are little scrum-deliam-ptious goodies that I tried in a cafe in Melbourne for the first time. By the time I moved back to Hamburg in 2011 you could get them at a lot of cafés over there too.

The first Pastéis de Nata were bake by monchs in Portugal, in Belém, which is now a part of Lisbon and where the got their name from - Portuguese tarts or Pastéis de Belém. 
Small, flaky puff pastry cases filled with a vanilla custard with a hint of lemon.
I have ried a few recipes before and they came out ok, but not quite the way I wanted them. Then I found this recipe by Donna Hay and I thought, alright, let's give this another go and they came out beautifully! 

Pastéis de Nata (Pastéis de Belém)

165 g caster sugar
180 ml water
Peel from one lemon
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
35 g cornflour
375 ml milk
3 eggyolks
1 x 375 g sheet all-butter puff pastry (it's important to use an all-butter puff pastry to achieve the light and crispy pastry)

Preheat oven to 200°. Place the sugar, water, lemon peel and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil for 4 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove the lemon peel and vanilla bean and discard*.
Place the cornflour and 125 ml of the milk in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the remaining milk and the sugar syrup and whisk until combined. Pour the egg mixture into a saucepan and pace over medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook, whisking continuously for 6 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Set aside to cool completely.
Half the sheet of puffpastry (if you are using 2 square sheets, still half them), layer two half sheets on top of each other. Starting at the short end, tightly roll into a log. Trim the edges and cut into 12 x 1cm rounds. (With the square sheets, you will have to make two logs and cut each into 6). Lay the pastry rounds flat on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 12 x 10cm rounds. Carefully press the pastry rounds into a 12-hole, lightly greased muffin tin. Divide the custard between the pastry cases and smooth the top. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until the custard is just blistered and golden. Allow to cool in tins for 5 miutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12

*In order to make vanilla sugar, simlpy wash the vanilla bean under some water and let dry. Once dried you can put the beans in a container with sugar which will give the sugar a very instense vanilla flavour and lasts forever!

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