How you doin’? Since you have so much time on your hands and your cooking skills have undoubtedly improved during the pandemic, I am throwing you a bit of a challenge today.
In Lisbon at A Padaria Portuguesa the center of the restaurant is the hot bakery and the star of the bakery is the Pasteis de Nata—Portuguese Custard Tartlets.to edit.
Many cuisines have a custard dessert, in America we have custard pies, in France it’s the Crème Brûlée and in Hong Kong you can find the Don Tarts on the dim sum cart. Pasteis de Nata is so popular in Portugal that every bakery has their version. Pasteis de Belem is the most famous. They bake over 20,000 of these tarts a day.
What makes these tarts so much better than other international custard offerings? The pastry is thinner and crisper and the filling is usually still hot and creamy from the oven. They are sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon—they are absolutely delicious. Despite there being lots of wonderful freshly made Nata houses in Lisbon, A Padaria Portuguesa and Pasteis de Belem are definitely the best.
I’ve watched this recipe made in APP central bakery for years. This is a difficult recipe to make at home, but during this time you should have all the time in the world. I decided to simplify it a little to tailor it to the American kitchen. You’ll find that you already have all the ingredients in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator—they just require a few basics. It is a rather busy recipe and some practice is helpful, but well worth it.
Prep time: 1-1/2 hours
Chill time: 2 hours or overnight
Bake time: 25 minutes
Ready In: 4 hours
For the laminated dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup cold water
1 stick unsalted butter Plugra (European-style), softened, divided
For the syrup
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon water
1 lemon, zested with a microplane
For the custard
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
Syrup (from recipe above)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
To make the laminated dough
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