Eat This Food

Pastel de Nata

The holy grail of sweet, eggy, fluffy and crunchy goodness.
People obsess over good versions of these tarts, and rightly so.
The base should be thin, crunchy and slightly flaky, while the inside
remains sweet and fluffy with a dark caramelisation on top.
No soggy or chewy pastry, please.

For the pastry base, roll the puff pastry up lengthways,
like a fruit Roll-Up. Chill for 20 minutes then slice the pastry into
1 cm slices and spread them out into small pastry moulds.

For the custard filling, whisk the flour and ΒΌ cup of the milk in a medium
bowl until smooth, then set aside. Heat the sugar, cinnamon and water
in a small saucepan until just boiling. Meanwhile, bring the remaining
1 cup of milk to the boil in another small saucepan then remove quickly
from the heat. Whisk the hot milk into the flour mixture. Next, remove
the cinnamon stick and pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream into the
mixture, whisking briskly. Add the vanilla and stir for a minute until
very warm but not hot. Finally, whisk in the yolks.
Pour the custard into the pastry shells and cook for 15 minutes or so,
or until the tops are dark and caramelised.
Allow to cool slightly while preparing yourself a coffee.