Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata) – Food Wishes

Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata) – Food Wishes


hello this is chef john from food wishes
comma with Portuguese custard tarts that’s right I’m going to show you how
to make pasta is Danada which are truly one of the world’s most amazing pastries
and believe it or not invented by Portuguese monks many many centuries ago
which kind of makes sense I mean if you’re gonna take a vow of poverty and a
vow of chastity that is going to free up a lot of time to practice your pastry
skills and man did they perfect this recipe so with a very sincere thank you
to their harana mites let’s go ahead and get started with what is basically the
simplest dough you can make which consists of nothing more than flour some
salt and some water and then what we’ll do is grab a wooden spoon and give this
a mix until it just comes together and pulls away from the bowl and fair
warning this is going to be a very wet and sticky dough and once those three
ingredients come together and look a little something like this
we’ll go ahead and transfer that onto a very well floured surface and we’ll dust
a little more flour over the top and then we’re just going to give it a few
seconds of kneading and circular rubbing until we get that into some kind of semi
rounded shape and once that’s been accomplished we will dust on a little
more flour and then we’ll cover that with our bowl and let it rest about 15
or 20 minutes and no peeking and all we’re doing is letting the dough relax a
little bit so it’s a little easier to work with and then what we’ll do after
about 15 or 20 minutes is uncover it and then using as much flour as necessary
we’re gonna press roll and stretch this into a square about an eighth of an inch
thick and yes this would be a lot easier to work with if the dough is drier but
you’re just not gonna get that same final effect so even though it’s gonna
be a little annoying to work with we really do want to start with a very
sticky dough and then what we’re gonna do once we have that rolled and
stretched out into a square is apply the only other ingredient here some very
very soft spreadable butter and what we want to do is apply exactly 1/3 of our
butter to exactly 2/3 of this square and as we’re spreading this we’re gonna try
to leave about an inch of the outside edge unbuttered and by the way if you
try doing this with butter that’s not supersoft
it won’t work or you’re going to end up tearing and pulling your dough so make
sure it’s very very soft and spreadable and
what we’ll do once we have 2/3 covered is take the third it’s not buttered and
flip that over and then we will flip that other side over to complete our
letter fold and yes I did flip that first side over too far so I kind of had
a stretch just to make it fit and toured a little but don’t worry it’s all gonna
be fine I just went ahead and squared that up
the best I could and then with the help of our bench scraper we’ll go ahead and
turn the dough and we will sprinkle on even more flour and then we’ll give that
a flip and then apply even more flour did I mention this was sticky so do not
be shy with the flour and then once we do have that turned in floured we’ll go
ahead and roll that out into a rectangular shape about an eighth of an
inch thick and if you’re really good at this you’re not gonna have any bubbles
inside which is why I have bubbles but as I kept rolling those eventually got
pressed out but anyway like I said we’ll go ahead and roll that out into a
rectangle and if you have to give it a little stretch here and there don’t be
afraid and then once that’s set we’re going to repeat the thing we just did
okay we’re gonna take another third of our butter and spread it over two-thirds
of our surface and then repeat the letter fold by taking the unbuttered
third and folding that over and then the opposite third over the top of that and
then we’ll square it up and even it out the best we can and then once that’s
been accomplished before we applied the last of our butter I’m gonna go ahead
and transfer this onto a baking sheet and pop this in the fridge for just
about 10 minutes to chill that butter just a little bit but I wouldn’t go too
much longer because we don’t want it to get hard so I popped it in there for
about 10 minutes before pulling it back out for the final rolling and good news
this is the last step so we’ll go ahead and flour that generously and roll that
out into a square about 1/8 of an inch thick maybe a touch thicker all right
let’s say 3/16 and then what we’ll do once that’s been rolled out is apply the
last third of our soft butter and this time we can spread our butter all the
way to the edges except on the top edge all right the top we’re going to leave
about an inch to an inch-and-a-half unbuttered because that’s where we’re
gonna seal our dough after we roll it and what we’ll do once that’s all
buttered is take a wet finger and ever so slightly moisten that unbuttered edge
and then to finish this up instead of folding it what we’re gonna do is slowly
but surely roll this out from the bottom very nice and tight attempting to get
this is uniformly shaped as possible and while I’m doing this I should mention
once we roll this up we’re gonna have to wrap it and refrigerate it for a few
hours preferably overnight before we can start using it so just a little time
management heads up and I actually did this exact recipe last night so I’d have
one to work with so yes I did two of these rolls well actually technically
three since I tested one of these rolls using pre-made puff pastry which was a
dismal failure and I’ll talk about that in the blog post but anyway we’re gonna
continue rolling that all the way up to our unbuttered slightly damp edge which
should hopefully seal this tube nicely and then if we want we can sprinkle on a
little more flour and do some final shaping and evening out but mine was
pretty uniform so I’m gonna go ahead and wrap that in plastic and like I said pop
that in the fridge preferably overnight and yes in case you’re wondering you can
absolutely freeze this dough just wrap it up nice and tight and then let it
thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use it but anyway once our
dough is set we can move on to the custard which is going to start with a
simple syrup so to the saucepan we’re going to add some way sugar a splash of
water one cinnamon stick and the peeled zest from one lemon and make sure you
wash your lemon in hot water first in case it has any weird wax on the outside
and then once we have that all together we’re gonna head to the stove and we’ll
place that over medium heat and we’re gonna want to bring this up to a boil
and by the way you’re not supposed to stir this I do because I can’t help
myself but it is totally unnecessary and you
probably shouldn’t but anyway all we need to do here is boil this until it
reaches the temperature of 210 to 215 degrees Fahrenheit or as a Portuguese
monk would call it 100 degrees Celsius and as soon as that happens we will turn
it off and there I go again stirring it for no
apparent reason but anyway we’ll simply turn that off and reserve it until our
final component is done and that’s going to be our customer base which is going
to consist of some flour some salt and some cold milk which we’re gonna whisk
for a few minutes before how do you do the stove and then what we’re gonna do
once we’ve list that all together very very thoroughly has placed that over
medium heat and cook it stirring until it thickens up oh and I should mention
I’ve actually streamlined this part of the recipe since classically the flour
is mixed with a small amount of milk and then the rest of the milk is he did or
tempered as we say and then everything is whisked together but I figured since
we’re gonna strain it anyway let’s just take a chance and it actually worked out
fine so yes I guess I am sort of saying they’ve been doing it wrong for
centuries in Portugal but hey at least now they know but anyway like I said
we’re gonna cook this over medium whisking pretty much the whole time
until our mixture thickens up at which point you should have something that
looks very similar to this and then what we’re gonna want to do is turn off the
heat and let this sit for at least 10 minutes before whisking in our egg yolks
or if you’re a super fast whisker you could probably mix them in right away
but to play safe it’s not a bad idea to wait about 10 minutes and we’ll go ahead
and whisk those yolks in and once we have those incorporated we’ll go ahead
and finish this off by adding our sugar syrup plus we will also add a spoon of
vanilla extract and I should mention the vanilla cinnamon and lemon should all be
considered optional all right a lot of the so-called authentic recipes don’t
call for those so you decide I mean you are for all the harana might of would
taste right but I like them so I put them and we’ll give that all one final
mix and then like I said we are gonna strain this which is gonna catch our
lemon peel cinnamon stick and any undissolved lumps or chunks of flour
which I didn’t really have any of and the reason we’re straining this into a
measuring cup is because that’s gonna make it a lot easier to pour into our
pastry shells and forming those is gonna be the next step so we’ll simply set our
custard aside and I’m gonna go ahead and pull out the dough I made last night
which because I wasn’t filming it came out a little neater but the exact same
recipe and we’ll go ahead and unwrap that and cut a little bit off both ends
but don’t discard that in case we have to do a little bit of patching and then
we’ll take our knife and score this into exactly 12 even pieces and then let me
go ahead and cut a couple of these so you can get a good look at what’s going
on here okay right here you should be able to see that swirl of dough and
butter and don’t forget in the dough layer there’s actually layers of butter
from the two folds we did earlier so that’s exactly what we want it to look
like and then to shape the dough what we’ll do is place one of these rolls at
the bottom of each muffin cup and we’ll dip our thumb into some cold water and
then we’ll push that right down into the center of that roll and then we’ll
slowly but surely spread that out across the bottom and then eventually up the
sides and it might not seem like you have enough dough but you do okay we
really want to get this stuff nice and thin and dipping your fingers in cold
water really is key here since that’s going to make it way easier to push and
spread that dough up the sides and one huge tip here make sure you go at least
an eighth of an inch out past the top okay because what’ll happen if you don’t
get these high enough is your custard is gonna bake up over the top and run down
the sides and it will burn and look black so again using wet fingers make
sure you smear and spread that stuff all the way up not only to get it nice and
thin but like I said so we have at least an eighth of an inch popping up above
the edge and if you want you can do this step a little bit ahead and then just
refrigerate that pan as is and fill it with the custard later and then what
we’re gonna do once our tart shells have been formed is go ahead and pour in our
custard batter but not all the way up we only want to go about three quarters all
right this customer is gonna kind of puff up as it bakes and if you fill them
up too high as I touched on earlier it’s gonna spill over and get between the
dough in the pan and it definitely will burn since this is gonna go in such a
hot oven so like I said we’ll just go three quarters of the way and that’s it
once we have those filled we will carefully transfer that into the center
of a super hot 550 degree oven or whatever your highest setting is and we
will bake those for about 12 to 14 minutes or until our pastry is well
browned and bubbling in butter and our custard is just barely set so four one’s
done in a home oven those are looking pretty nice all right in Portugal the
ovens are even hotter so the top of the custards get even more caramelized and
blistered but you know what these were looking
just fine and right here you can get a great look at all that lamination which
is that layer of butter between the pastry and while admittedly that took a
little bit of work to do that really is the secret behind these
incredible tarts and we’re definitely gonna want to let these cool a little
bit before we try to pull one out although they are supposed to be served
warm so don’t wait too long so I waited a little bit and went ahead and pop one
out and as you can see our pastry got beautifully browned and if you look
close you can actually see the spiral from our roll dough but anyway let me go
ahead and bite in so I can taste in here how we did and yes it really was that
crispy and the perfect delivery system for that rich creamy custard although it
should have cooled a little bit more since these really should be served warm
and not hot so I finished eating that one while I transferred the rest onto a
rack to cool a little bit more and after about 10 minutes I plated one up so I
could take some pictures but more importantly to another one in the
contrast here between that ultra crispy flaky buttery crust and that soft creamy
custard subtly scented with cinnamon and lemon is nothing like I’ve ever
experienced eating any other pastry I mean it really is truly remarkable and
yes there was a little bit of work involved in making that pastry but when
you finally get around to enjoy these you will regret nothing except maybe not
making a double batch okay you should probably make 24 of these but anyway
that’s it how I do Portuguese custard tarts I’m
not sure whether you have a bucket list or not and if you do whether it has a
section for pastries but if it does stop whatever you’re doing and add these to
that list so needless to say I really do hope you
give these a try soon and you should definitely head over to food whooshes
calm for all the ingredient amounts of more info as usual and as always enjoy
you you

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