Pastéis de nata (pastry)

4 servings Prep: 25 mins, Cooking: 35 mins

These cakes when warm out of the oven and sprinkled with the cinnamon and sugar, are worth travelling for.

By Food24 May 13 2010
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Ingredients (10)

1 puff pastry — frozen
450 ml milk
65 ml cream
4 eggs — just the yolks
3 Tbs demerara sugar
pinch salt
2 Tbs flour — plain
1/2 tsp cinnamon — ground
1 tsp lemon — zest only
1 tsp vanilla — extract
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The Cream:
Pour milk and cream into a bowl and then add the egg yolks, the sugar, the lemon zest and the salt to the flour and mix well with a whisk to combine.
Once all ingredients are combined and smooth, place in the pot and add the cinnamon, the lemon zest and the vanilla extract.

Turn the heat on to low (heat it very slowly otherwise the egg yolks will curdle) and stir everything gently with the whisk.

Continue stirring until it thickens, making sure that the consistency is smooth and nothing sticks to the sides and the edges.
Allow to cool and place a little parchment paper on top of the warm custard to prevent a skin from forming.

Preheat oven to 150 C.
Roll out cold puff pastry on a floured cold surface, until a ¼ cm thick and then dust off the excess flour and roll up the pastry into a loose but long roll – to prevent air pockets from forming and cut into 4cm lengths.

Take each cut piece in your hand and push down the middle of the roll to meet the middle of opposite side.

Gently press pastry with the tips of your fingers to spread out dough to create a cup shape.

Use flour if the dough becomes sticky – the finished shells will be really thin, as thin as when you rolled it out the first time – but not so thin that it is transparent unless you like it thicker.

Put them in the muffin tin and with your fingers, shape them so that there’s a little lip over the top and the pastry is already thin inside – you don’t want them to shrink too much when they’re baking.

When the pastry shells are complete, fill them with the cream but not to the top – you’ll need that cm or so lip at the top.

Place the filled pastries in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 min, but keep eye on them because, depending on your oven temperature, the top can burn quite quickly.

Once the pastries are golden around the sides and the cream is cooked, they are ready.

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