portuguese custard tarts (pasteis de Nata) & aWard
Recently I bought the Café Favorites Cookbook from one of The Australian’s Women Weekly Cookbook series. I only flicked through it quickly and without hesitation I bought it right away, there are many recipes which I know I would love to try and I have already tried a few already. The Portuguese custard tarts were a big hit, I have made twice in two weeks time already, for both occasions: our street BBQ and my friend’s baby shower, they were gone so quickly.
A little story telling….
The first time I came across Portuguese custard tarts was in 1997 in Hong Kong , when Lord Stow’s Bakery from Macau opened his first branch in Hong Kong, snake-like queues of people were waiting for hours to sample the freshly baked tarts came out of the oven. For those who did not want to wait (side-story), his ex-wife had also opened a bakery jut nearby competing with him and claiming hers were better. Anyhow, the food culture in Hong Kong is like fashion or a wave, rather short-lived, after people have tried, they jump on to try other new food. Lord Stow’s bakery does not exist in Hong Kong anymore, their custard tarts are now sold under exclusive licence at the coffee lobby bar in Excelsior Hong Kong.
I have visited Portugal years ago and have tried the local custard tarts there, I could only buy those selling at room temperature. To be honest, I did not like them at all. The custard was harder, a little curdled. I still like the modified version by Lord Stow. I am also too used to having freshly baked ones and eat them when they are piping hot or within a few hours out of the oven maximum.
I asked in twitter and found out apparently the most authentic ones are in Belém, Lisbon, thanks Helen @World Foodie Guide! I have to make a “pilgrim visit” to Belém one day : )
Although I am writing about Portuguese egg tarts today, my friend who is also named Carmen from Basel @ Sushi Session, both of us agree that Hong Kong style egg tarts are the best, especially the puff pastry ones. I was reading from wikipedia about the history and types of egg tarts, if you interested too, you can click here. Our last British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten who is also a food lover, likes the Hong Kong style egg tarts a lot, he used to visit Tai Cheong Bakery, 泰昌餅家 in Central from time to time, this bakery got popular since then (see picture below).
Please feel free to share your custard tarts experience in the comments section, would love to hear your story!!!
Recipe adapted from Café Favorites
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 4 fresh egg yolks (large eggs)
- 300ml cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 ready-rolled sweet puff pastry
- cinnamon (optional for sprinkle on top)
- powdered sugar (optional to sprinkle on top)
- butter for greasing the muffin molds
- Grease a 12-hole muffin mould with some butter.
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, set aside.
- Mix the cornflour and water in a small bowl, set aside.
- In a stainless steel saucepan, add in the sugar, cream and gradually whisk in the egg yolks, turn to medium heat and keep stirring with a whisk until all sugar is dissolved, the cream and egg yolks are mixed well.
- While the mixture is slowly heating up, slowly pour in the cornflour mixture. Keep stirring to avoid lumps and until the mixture thickens and become custard.
- Unwrap the puff pastry, fold into half and then roll it up from the short side like a swiss roll.
- Divide the pastry into 12 equal round pastry dough.
- Cut-sides up, roll each small dough into a round piece on a lightly floured surface into a 10cm round. Push the rounds into the muffin molds with the sides sticking out, don’t worry they will strink when they are in the oven.
- Divide and spoon the custard into the each holes to about 3/4 full.
- Bake for about 2o minutes.When out of oven, let it stand for 5 minutes before lifting them to cool on wire rack.
- Optional, sprinkle some cinnamon and powder sugar for even more authenticity.
- Best served when they are piping hot or warm.
- The recipe says mix the cornflour with sugar, cream, water and egg together, I find this will cause lumps so it’s better to dissolve the cornflour first with water.
- I used a spoon to help stirring the custard as after some custard may stick to the bottom, I use the back of the spoon to help to avoid curds forming and ensuring the custard is smooth.
You see those rocky road on the right? Stay tune for the recipe!
And finally, I would like to thank you so much for Sophie from Sophies Foodiefiles for the Sisterhood award. Sophie lives in Belgium, I always feel she is living very close to me because Holland is just next door.
To keep with the tradition of passing on this award. The Sisterhood Award is an award from bloggers to bloggers in recognition of a blog spot which shows attitute and/ or gratitude.
- Put the logo on your blog or post.
- Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude
- Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
- Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog, or by sending them an email.
- Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.
And I would like to pass on to
- Pamela from Clement Ferrand @The Cooking Ninja
- Rosa from Geneva @Rosa’s Yummy Yums
- Ivy from Athens @Kopiaste… Greek Specialities
- Wiffy from Singapore @Noobook
- Maria from New York @Kali Orexi
- Natasha from North Virginia, US@5 star Foodie
- Lisa @Lisa is Cooking
- Ella from New England @From Scratch
So here is a long post today, I hope you have enjoyed it!