Portuguese Tarts

Portuguese Tarts

Portuguese Tarts
This recipe is inspired by my recent trip to Portugal where I became addicted to Pasteis da Nata.  These flaky, crispy custard tarts flavoured with lemon and cinnamon are absolutely delicious!

Serves 12
Prep time:  10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 x 375g sheet all-butter puff pastry
Melted butter, for greasing

For the custard
250ml whole milk
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
A few strips of zest
20g butter
2tbsp plain flour
1 tsp cornflour
6 egg yolks

For the sugar syrup
225g caster sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
A few strips of lemon zest


1.    Brush 12-hole muffin tin with butter and chill in the fridge. Roll up the pastry into a tight sausage shape. Slice into 12 discs, roll out each disc to fit into the muffin tin, and chill them while you make the custard.
2.    Heat 150ml of the milk in a pan with the cinnamon, lemon zest and 10g of butter, heat to just below boiling point and leave to infuse for ten minutes. Remove the lemon zest.
3.    In a bowl, add the flour, cornflour and gradually add the remaining 100ml milk, mix to a thin paste. Pour the warm milk over the paste, stirring well, then pour it back into the pan. Stir gently, over a low heat for a few minutes until it thickens to a double cream consistency. Whisk in the remaining 10g of butter and remove from the heat.
4.    To make the sugar syrup, put the ingredients in a pan with 75ml water and cook over a medium heat for five minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce to a low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until you have a light brown caramel. Add a further 75ml water and gently heat to dissolve any solid caramel. Strain it into a heatproof bowl. Pour half the syrup into the custard and whisk well.
5.    Preheat the oven to its highest setting and put a baking sheet on the top shelf. Just before cooking the tarts, pour the custard into a measuring jug and stir in the egg yolks. Pour the custard into the pastry-lined muffin tins and bake on the hot baking sheet for 9–13 minutes, until the tops are dark.
6.    Brush the tarts with the remaining sugar syrup, leave to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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