Recipe for Pasteis de Nata – little Portugese custard tarts
500 g puff pastry
500 ml (2 C) milk
strips of lemon zest from of one lemon
1 cinnamon stick
70 g cake flour
485 g caster sugar
200 ml (¾ C + 2 t) water
6 egg yolks
Brush the holes of a muffin pan with butter and place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm the butter.
Unroll the puff pastry and use a cutter to cut the pastry into 12 disks. Line the muffin pan holes with the pastry, pressing the pastry into each hole and up the sides such the pastry on the bottom is thinner than the pastry up the sides. Return to the refrigerator until needed.
Place the milk into a medium saucepan together with the lemon strips and the cinnamon. Heat to just boiling and then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon strips and the cinnamon stick.
Whisk 80 ml (1/3 C) of the milk with the flour to form a smooth paste.
Bring the remaining milk to the boil and whisk in the flour paste, whisking continually until thick. Set aside.
Place the sugar and the water into a small saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar.
Stop stirring, turn up the heat and boil for 4 -5 minutes or until the sugar reaches 108°C to 118°C on a sugar thermometer or thread stage if using the cold water method.
Whisk the hot sugar into the milk custard. Whisk well, but ignore any small lumps.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and strain (to remove any lumps) the milk custard mixture over the egg yolks. Whisk well. Cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the custard into the pastry cases and bake in an oven that has been preheated to 200°C for 15 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Recipe courtesy of Pomegranate Days– a blog by Sam Taylor