Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Hoping it may work for you-Portuguese custard tarts recipe-Pasteis de nata

Pasties de Nata custard
Pasteis de Nata

Source: own ~ makes 12
Difficulty: easier than it looks and very rewarding
Prepared puff pasty – defrosted but kept cold
1 ¾ cups whole milk
¼ cup cream
4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp white sugar
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp Plain flour
½ cinnamon stick
2 strips lemon peel
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pastry Cream Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan add milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, salt, flour mix well with a whisk to ensure all the ingredients are well combined, do not turn heat on yet.
  2. Once all ingredients are combined and there are no lumps of sugar or flour add cinnamon stick, lemon peel and vanilla.
  3. Turn heat on to low stirring continuously and gently with whisk. *Note it’s very important to heat the milk slowly, if the milk is heated too quickly, egg yolks could coagulate like scrambled eggs and ruin the consistency of the custard.
  4. Continue stirring until it cream becomes quite thick and resembles a rich pudding. Watch for thickening around the edges of the pan, you want a really smooth cream so make certain to get in the sides and bottom edges of the pan.
  5. Let cool completely. When cooled, remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel.
  6. To avoid milk skin from forming on custard you can place parchment paper on top of warm custard and it will lift out easily when you go to use it to fill puff pasty shells.
Preparing Pastry Shells

  • Preheat oven to 225F (107C) [update: 300 F (148C)]

  • Roll out cold puff pastry dough with pin on floured surface, until 1/4 cm thick.

  • Once rolled out thin, dusk off excess flour and begin rolling puff pastry like a long cigar. Roll pastry snugly but not tight, just enough to avoid a lot of space or air pockets in roll.

  • Place pastry roll length wise and cut in 4cm lengths

  • Then take each cut piece in hand and push down center of roll to meet center of opposite side, gently press pastry with fingers to spread out dough to create what will feel like half of a hallow pastry ball. Work in circular pattern and pastry will start to thin and from a cup shape. If dough gets sticky use a little flour to help it along. Finished shells should be about 1/4cm, thin but not enough to see your hand through. If you like puff pastry you can make the shells a little thicker, but a couple of tries of the finished version will let you know your preference.

  • Place pastry in muffin tray, and spread out to sides but don’t stretch dough upward, just gently press against side of muffin tin to ensure it won’t shrink too much when baking.

  • When all pastry shells are ready fill with pastry cream, do not fill to top. Fill to ¾ or a bit more but leaving 1- 1.5cm at top of pastry.

  • Place custards in oven and bake for 15min, but keep eye on custards as some ovens can burn top quite quickly, while others don’t cook the pastry quickly enough. If pastry around sides looks deep golden colour pastries are done.

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