Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata)

This is a sponsored post for Conestoga Farms Eggs. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Since my desire to travel to Portugal is yet to be fulfilled, I am bringing a little taste of Portugal into my kitchen with these Portuguese Custard Tarts or Pastéis de Nata. These flaky, buttery puff pastry cups are filled with a delicious custard and browned to perfection.

Heaven, in my opinion.

Although I am still longing to bite into an authentic Portuguese tart on a trip I have yet to take, these tarts are holding their place until then and I am certainly not mad about that!

While there are plenty of versions of Portuguese custard tarts recipes out there, I have worked to make one that not only delivers on taste but is also as simplified as I could make it.

Portuguese Custard Tarts

These Portuguese Custard Tarts are made with a store-bought puff pastry and are filled with a sweet, delicious egg custard! While authentic tarts can be time-consuming and difficult to make, this simplified, easy recipe delivers on taste without all the hassle!

My simplified recipe doesn’t require too many ingredients but to ensure the best flavours, I use quality ones! That’s why I partnered with Conestoga Farms Eggs to bring you these delicious tarts made with their Free Range Eggs laid by local, Ontario-raised hens living in open concept farms.

Why you should make these tarts

  • they are absolutely delicious!

  • this version is as simplified a recipe as I could make them!

  • a store-bought puff pastry is used to make this hassle-free!

  • the custard is whipped up in one saucepan so there is no need for multiple bowls and difficult steps.

  • you can make these in a regular muffin tin (so no fancy equipment is needed).

  • they are absolutely delicious! (Yeah, I know I said it already but if you have ever tried these tarts, it deserves to be said again!)

What you need to make Portuguese Custard Tarts

  • puff pastry
  • large egg yolks (I used Conestoga Farms Free Range Eggs)
  • large egg
  • 3.25% milk or whole milk
  • granulated sugar
  • cinnamon stick
  • cornstarch
  • vanilla extract

Step by step guide to making these simplified Portuguese egg tarts

  1. Prepare the puff pastry. Roll out the puff pastry sheets into 2 10×12 inch or 25×30 cm rectangles. Starting on the shorter side, roll the puff pastry sheets into a log. Wrap each log in parchment or plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Steps for Making Portuguese Custard Tarts puff pastry

2. Make the custard. Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, milk, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth and there are no lumps. Add the cinnamon stick and place it over medium heat. Whisk the custard as it heats for 3-4 minutes and then discard the cinnamon stick. Continuing whisking over medium heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the custard into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic food wrap, placing the food wrap directly on top of the custard so that no skin forms. Allow to cool completely.

Steps for Making Portuguese Custard Tarts custard

Form the puff pastry cups. Remove the puff pastry logs from the fridge and cut each log into 12 equal slices. Working with one slice at a time, use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 3.5 inch or 9 cm circle. [Tip: you can roll out the circles to slightly larger shapes and use a 3.5 inch cookie cutter to cut perfect circles]. Place the circles into a metal muffin tin or tart shells. forming cups for the custard to sit in. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry portions.

Steps for Making Portuguese Custard Tarts pastry cups

Fill the puff pastry cups with the custard. Spoon the custard mixture into the puff pastry cups.

Filling Portuguese Custard Tarts

Bake! Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. At this point you should see some brown spots begin to form on the custard tops. If needed, continue baking for 3-5 more minutes, being careful not to burn the pastry. Cool and enjoy!

Tips for making the best Portuguese Custard Tarts

  • Ensure the puff pastry stays chilled. Chilled puff pastry ensures the butter in it stays cold and produces those signature layers. After forming the puff pastry log, allow it to chill in the fridge while you work on the custard.

  • Use a cookie cutter for uniform circles. If you would like to have more uniform shaped circles (not necessary as these rustic tarts do not need to be perfect), you can absolutely use a cookie cutter to get those circles. Use a cookie cutter with a 3.5 inch diameter if you are using regular muffin tins.

  • Cool your custard. As tempting as it might be to rush this step and get those tarts in the oven, you definitely don’t want to. Warm custard will warm your pastry and it won’t puff up as it should. It may also get soggy and you don’t want that.

  • You can refrigerate the custard to speed up the cooling process.

  • Keep an eye on the custard tarts starting at about 18-20 minutes. Oven temperatures can vary so keep an eye on them. Pay close attention to the puff pastry so it does not burn.

  • These tarts are at their best on the day you make them. Freshly baked tarts are at their crispiest on the day you make them. If possible, you should make them on the same day you intend to eat them.

  • Serve them at room temperature or warm. Although this comes down to personal preference, typically, these tarts are best when they are room temperature or warm.

  • These tarts can be sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. A sprinkle of cinnamon on these tarts is delicious as is some powdered sugar. If you are using powdered sugar, though, your tarts will have to be completely cooled otherwise the sugar will instantly melt.

  • Bake them in a metal muffin tin or metal tart shells. Silicone won’t do here. You will need a metal pan to conduct heat and crisp up that puff pastry!
Portuguese Custard Tarts on a rack

Should you refrigerate Portuguese Custard Tarts?

I recommend storing leftover Portuguese Custard Tarts in the fridge as they do contain substantial amounts of milk and eggs. Place leftover tarts in an airtight container and store in the fridge. They will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Can you reheat Portuguese Custard Tarts? Since these tarts are best when served warm, you can reheat these tarts by popping them back into the oven at 350F until they are warmed through.

I hope you enjoy these tarts as much as I do!

-Cathy

You may also like:

Puff Pastry Apple Tarts
Ruffled Milk Pie (Greek Patsavouropita)

If you try and enjoy this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know what you think!

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Herbs and Flour
These Portuguese Custard Tarts are made with a store-bought puff pastry base and are filled with a sweet, delicious egg custard! While authentic tarts can be time-consuming and difficult to make, this simplified, easy recipe delivers on taste without all the hassle!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 24
Calories 161 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 3 large egg yolks (I used Conestoga Farms Free Range Eggs)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups 3.25% milk or whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon for dusting (optional)
  • powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Roll out the puff pastry sheets into 2 10×12 inch or 25×30 cm rectangles. Starting on the shorter side, roll the puff pastry sheets into a log. Wrap each log in parchment or plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  • To make the custard filling, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, milk, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth and there are no lumps. Add the cinnamon stick and place it over medium heat.
  • Whisk the custard as it heats for 3-4 minutes and then discard the cinnamon stick. Continuing whisking over medium heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the custard into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic food wrap, placing the food wrap directly on top of the custard so that no skin forms. Allow to cool completely.
  • Preheat oven to 450F while the custard is cooling.
  • Once custard has cooled, remove the puff pastry logs from the fridge and cut each log into 12 equal slices. Working with one slice at a time, use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 3.5 inch or 9 cm circle. [Tip: you can roll out the circles to slightly larger shapes and use a 3.5 inch cookie cutter to cut perfect circles]. Place the circles into a metal muffin tin or tart shells. forming cups for the custard to sit in. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry portions.
  • Spoon the custard mixture into the puff pastry cups. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. At this point you should see some brown spots begin to form on the custard tops. If needed, continue baking for 3-5 more minutes, being careful not to burn the pastry. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
  • Carefully remove from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar (if desired) and serve. [Tip: if sprinkling with powdered sugar, allow the tarts to cool completely otherwise the powdered sugar will melt on contact].

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 63mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 71IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg
Keyword custard, custard tart, decadent dessert, egg tart, eggs, Portuguese food, puff pastry
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