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  • Writer's pictureBiagio D

Pastéis de Nata

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

This Portuguese pastry was created in Lisbon by Catholic monks who had an excess of egg yolks since they used egg whites to starch their clothing. The recipe was sold to a local sugar refinery when the monastery permanently closed in 1834. The new owners opened a bakery and their descendants still run it to this day. This is my take on this classic recipe and the perfect and impressive, yet simple dessert for any dinner party.


1 sheet of puff pastry

Butter for greasing

2.5 cups whole milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

4 large eggs

2 egg yolks

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup corn starch

8 table spoons butter, cubed


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface.

3. Starting at the longest edge, roll the dough into a log with a tight spiral. Slice the log into pieces about 1.5 inches long.

4. Grease a cupcake tin with butter and place the pieces so they stand up with the spiral edge facing the ceiling.

5. Push the spiral edge down into the tin and work out the sides in order to form a cup shape to hold the custard. Once all of the cups are formed, place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

6. In a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together. In a saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer. Once it’s simmering, pour over the egg mixture while constantly stirring vigorously. Pour back into a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer and stir constantly until thick. Once thick, add in the butter and mix to combine.

7. Remove the puff pastry cups from the refrigerator and fill with the custard.

8. Place in the oven for 9 minutes. After 9 minutes, put the oven on broil (or 525 degrees F) for 4-5 minutes until the tops of the custard darkens and starts to burn.

9. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm or cool with powdered sugar.

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