Recipe: Easy pasteis de nata
Pasteis de nata are for Lisbon what macarons are for Paris. A symbol of the city and a delicacy that has giving way to many interpretations, some better than others. I am going to Lisbon this summer and I cannot wait to try the famous pasteis de Belem but meanwhile, I treat myself with these delicious custard pies.
This recipe is in no way traditional but just my take on this Portuguese classic. It is a very easy recipe - it only takes one saucepan and 30 minutes from start to finish. The hard part? Having to wait for them to cool down before biting into it...
200g puff pastry sheet
15g unsalted butter, melted
120g caster sugar
4 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
Grated cinnamon and icing sugar, to taste
Unroll the pastry sheet and brush it with melted butter. Re-roll it tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Trim out the ends of the roll and cut it into 12 even pieces. Using a rolling pin, flatten each piece - the thinner, the better - and place inside a muffin tin. Trim off any excess dough with a knife and place the tray in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 250°C. In a saucepan, mix the sugar, cornflour and eggs and beat until well combined. Add the milk, honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon stick, combine and transfer the saucepan onto the stove, over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to prevent it from forming big lumps. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes - you need it to reach the consistency of a béchamel.
Remove the cinnamon stick and fill each muffin case with the mixture. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove from tray and place on a cooling rack. Before serving, top with cinnamon and icing sugar to taste - and whipped cream if you are feeling naughty.