Pasteis de Nata: The secret recipe
The absolute best Pasteis de Nata, a traditional Portuguese pastry, can be found in Lisbon and are best enjoyed fresh and warm on the spot.
Undoubtedly, the most famous spot for these delicious treats is the "Pasteis de Belem" bakery, which was founded in 1837 and remains open in Lisbon today. Upon arrival, the long queue that stretches down the sidewalk from the moment the shop opens until it closes speaks to its immense popularity. A visit to this bakery during your stay will make it immediately clear why it's so beloved by locals and tourists alike.
Here is their website (in english)
Pasteis de Nata - Credit Pasteis de Belem
Although you may come across Pasteis de Nata in pastry shops, supermarkets, and even airports, it's recommended not to buy them as they won't compare to the ones from "Pasteis de Belem".
If you're a fan of these delectable treats and miss their taste, it's worth trying to make them at home using the best Portuguese recipe, which I can help translate for you. Keep in mind that it may not be easy, but it's certainly worth the effort!
Pasteis de Nata, the secret recipe
Ingredients (10 to 12 Pasteis)
- 250 g puff pastry
- 1/2 litre of milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 40 g flour
- 180 g sugar
- 1 piece of butter
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 Nata pasteis moulds
It is best to make your own puff pastry, however, to save time, you can use an already prepared pastry. In this case, choose an artisanal quality paste.
Making the dough
- Flour your work surface and spread the dough to obtain a large rectangle.
- Brush this rectangle with butter
- Roll the rectangle on itself to obtain a strand of dough.
- Cut 12 sections about 1.5cm high and flatten them between your fingers
- Place the circles of dough thus obtained in the previously buttered moulds.
If you have tasted Pasteis de Nata from Bélem, you have noticed the crispness of the dough. To obtain it at home, do not spread the rectangle of dough directly in the moulds but roll the dough on itself so that you will be able to cut it into sections that will give a much crisper pastry after baking.
Making the custard
- Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the sugar and dilute the flour cold.
- Add a cinnamon stick.
- Heat the mixture and stir until it is thick and smooth.
- Let the mixture cool a little before adding the egg yolks with a whisk.
Assembling and baking
- Fill each of the moulds with the cream mixture
- Bake at 200° and cook for 15 to 20 minutes
- Take the Pasteis out of the oven, remove them from the mould, let them cool for 10 minutes
- Serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon
Some tips about Pasteis de Nata
- Of course, finding Nata Pasteis moulds outside Portugal is quite impossible. You can decide to use Cupcake molds, but in this case you will have difficulty getting the crunchiness of the puff pastry.
- Don't panic, for a few dollars, you will find on my website the original Pasteis de Nata molds made in Northern Portugal
- If you are a perfectionist, you know that the Portuguese only think of tasting Pasteis de Nata sprinkled with cinnamon. So you need ground cinnamon and, of course, a Portuguese cinnamon dispenser.
- If you are a professional and want to start making and selling Pasteis de Nata, we recommend stainless steel molds, very resistant and designed for intensive use.