Pastel De Nata
2 cupsall-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 tablespoonsgranulated sugar
10 tablespoonschilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
5 -7 tablespoonsice water
1 1/2cupsheavy cream
1 cupgranulated sugar
6 egg yolks
Make the pastry:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 1-second pulses.
Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture.
Pulse several times to work the water into the flour.
Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the mixture develops small curds.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness.
Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles.
Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins.
Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes to set.
May use store bought puff pastry instead.
Make the custard:
Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream in a medium bowl.
Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves.
Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.
In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth.
Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity.
Bake in at 350°F (180°C) until the edges of the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
(The custard will continue to cook.) Cool completely in the tin.
The pastéis are best when eaten the same day.
Note: Because home ovens can’t match the heat of those at the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, where these treats were first made, your pasteis may not brown as much as those in the picture.–
Cut the pastry dough sheet in half, put one half on top of the other and set aside for 5 minutes. Roll up the pastry tightly from the short end and cut the pastry log into 12 x 1cm rounds. Lay each pastry round on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out until each is about 3 inches in diameter.
A Pastel de Nata (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐʃˈtɛɫ dɨ ˈnatɐ]; plural: Pastéis de Nata), is a Portugueseegg tartpastry, common in Portugal, the Lusosphere countries and regions (which include Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste, Goa, and Macau, introducing them later in Mainland China), and countries with significant Portuguese immigrant populations, such as Canada, Australia, Luxembourg, the United States, and France, among others.
The simple recipe has had various alterations in the Portuguese pastelarias (pastery shops) and padarias (bakeries), in the shape of the pastry cup and the filling. One of these methods includes making the custard in a bain-marie (a bowl over boiling water) rather than combining all the ingredients at once in a saucepan. Some prefer the cream slightly "curdled" to give it a rustic appearance and unusual texture.
In 1994, researchers from the Laboratory of the Gastronomic University of Milan, Italy, prepared a report which concluded that the recipe of the original pastéis de Belém probably included (besides the common ingredients - milk, eggs, etc.) "potato flakes" similar to those used to make mashed potatoes. According to drafts that were disseminated in private between close associates, the group of researchers was confident that they had found the well kept secret, since gourmet experts, invited by the laboratory for double-blind trials, were not able to distinguish the original pastries from those produced by the group based on the results of their research.