Pastel de Nata Pie | Tarte de Pastel de Nata

Devaneios de Chocolate - Pastel de NataA butterfly from Aplica Agulhas e Bordados

I’m not the kind of girl to marry, but if I would, I would be marrying a Pastel de Nata. You must have heard about those, right? One of the most precious desserts of Portugal?

Pastel de Belém started to appear in the 19th Century, in Lisbon. The story tells that the monks in the Jerónimos Monastery (in Belém, Lisbon) created them and started to sell them to gather some money to maintain the monastery. At the time, Belém and Lisbon were two distinct areas, but these where so good that people from Lisbon went, on purpose to Belém to eat the so famous Pastel de Belém. They’ve become so famed, that every pastry and café started to bake them.

And the difference between Pastel de Belém and Pastel de Nata? Apparently, none – although, once you’ve tasted a Pastel de Belém, you’ll see that it is different. Only the original ones can be called Pastel de Belém, which you still can find in Belém; all the other ones that are sold everywhere else must be called Pastel de Nata.

Devaneios de Chocolate - Tarte Pastel de NataThe Pastel de Belém was considered the 15th tastiest dessert in the World by The Guardian

The Pastel de Nata is the most popular Portuguese dessert in a lot of countries all around the world. And it still is very common to find them in some Portuguese ex-colonies like Brazil and Macau. Just for curiosity, the Pastel de Nata is called Danta in Chinese.

Nowadays, many regions of Portugal try new recipes of Pastel de Nata with their regional ingredients – sweet potato, pear, apple… Even in Brazil exist a Pastel de Nata with caipirinha (Brazilian beverage)! But let’s face it: they are not Pastel de Nata. We must call things by their true names and stick to its origins, although innovation is also good.

A Pastel de Nata is something small – if you have a big mouth or appetite, you can eat it in one bite -, but you may also find things like the Pastel de Nata pie in supermarkets and pastries.

The taste is slightly different, and the look of it, is not as beautiful as the smaller ones. The original Pastel de Belém – and therefore, the others too – is made with a puff pastry filled with an egg cream, like a custard, and powdered with cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

Of course, if you buy the puff pastry it won’t be the same as doing it by yourself. So, an advice: if you ever try baking Pastel de Nata at home, try doing it as close as the original ones. If not, you can always do this good alternative that I bring you today, which give you an approximate idea of what is a Pastel de Nata.

I didn’t use puff pastry – you need a lot of time and patience to do it, but I’m gathering all that to do it one of these days – I’ve done a different base instead.

(Serves 8-10 – Serve 8 a 10)
For the base you will need | para a base é necessário:

140 g of flour | farinha
½ Teaspoon of salt | colher de sobremesa de sal
55 g of white sugar | açúcar
115 g of butter | manteiga
1 Egg yolk | gema de ovo
1 – 2 Tablespoons of cold water | 1 a 2 colheres de sopa de água fria

Blend the flour with the salt and sugar. Cut the butter in small pieces and with your fingers, mix it in the flour until you have small pieces of butter, similar to bread crumbs.
Misture a farinha com o sal e açúcar. Corte a manteiga em pedaços e com os dedos desfaça-a na farinha.

Mix the egg yolk with the water and add it to the previous mixture. The dough must be lightly humid and not gooey. Knead for some minutes and then, wrap it in cling film and keep it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Misture a gema de ovo e a água ao preparado anterior. A massa deve ficar ligeiramente húmida mas não pegajosa. Amasse por uns minutos e depois enrole em película aderente e leve ao frio cerca de 30 minutos.

Roll out the dough and place it in the pie form and take it to the oven (200º C) for about 7-8 minutes.
Estique a massa e coloque numa forma de tarte e leve ao forno (200º C) por 7 a 8 minutos.

For the filling you’ll need | para o recheio:

170 g of white sugar | açúcar
40 g of corn flour | farinha
3 Egg yolks | gemas de ovo
3 dl of semi-skimmed milk | leite meio-gordo
1 dl of water | água
Cinnamon and lemon zest | canela e raspa de limão

In a pan, heat all the ingredients and keep stirring everything. When it starts to get thick, reduce the heat. When you be able to see the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat.
Num tacho, aquecer todos os ingredientes e mexer. Quando começar a engrossar, baixar o lume. Quando for possível ver o fundo do tacho ao passar a colher, desligar o lume.

Place the cream in the base and take it to the oven again, just to burn the top of it.
Coloque o creme na base da tarte e leve ao forno novamente até queimar o topo.

Devaneios de Chocolate - Pastel de Nata TarteIf you have the opportunity to taste a Pastel de Nata, you’ll start to love them as much as every Portuguese love. And if you want the complete Portuguese experience, you must not forget, to eat one – or two – while drinking a coffee, because that’s the way that we do it around these parts. Note that the coffee must be a black expresso coffee, the only and true way of drinking a coffee!

Devaneios de Chocolate - Pastel de Nata slice

Não sou rapariga para casar, mas se fosse, casar-me-ia com um Pastel de Nata.

O Pastel de Belém apareceu no século XIX em Lisboa. Conta a história que os monges do Mosteiro dos Jerónimos criaram a receita e começaram a vender pastéis com o objectivo de juntarem dinheiro para manter o mosteiro. Na altura, Belém e Lisboa eram duas áreas distintas, sendo que as pessoas nobres de Lisboa iam até Belém passear e comer os famosos Pastéis de Belém. Ficaram tão famosos que todas as pastelarias e cafés começaram a produzi-los também.

A diferença entre um Pastel de Belém e um Pastel de Nata? Aparentemente, nenhuma – mas, uma vez que se prova um Pastel de Belém, notará a diferença. Só os originais podem ser chamados de Pastéis de Belém e que podem ser encontrados na zona com o mesmo nome; já todos os outros que se vendem em todo o lado, são chamados Pastéis de Nata.

É possivelmente o doce Português mais popular em todo o mundo. E é ainda possível encontrá-lo em antigas colónias Portuguesas como o Brasil e Macau – que por curiosidade, chamam ao Pastel de Nata, “Danta”.

Hoje em dia, também existem outras variedades de Pastel de Nata com ingredientes regionais de várias zonas de Portugal – batata-doce, pêra, maçã… Até no Brasil existe um Pastel de Nata com Caipirinha! Mas vamos ser sinceros: só existe um Pastel de Nata – mas inovação é sempre bom!

Deixo aqui uma versão de tarte de Pastel de Nata. A base da tarde não é massa folhada e daí torna o sabor completamente diferente. No entanto, não deixa de ser uma boa forma de experimentar em casa antes de se agarrar à versão original!


11 thoughts on “Pastel de Nata Pie | Tarte de Pastel de Nata

  1. After reading this recipe and instructions to drink it with an espresso, I am ready to get on a plane and wing it to the nearest pastelleria! Looks so good.
    By the way, D made your orange cake twice: once without eggs, once with eggs. Both were delicious and addictive. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, come and join us to eat a Pastel de Nata! 😛 Hope everything is ok with you and D. And I’m happy you liked my Orange cake so much, but you must try this Pastel de Nata pie now.And congrats to D. and his baking! 🙂 Kisses and a big hug!


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