Pastéis de Nata – Portuguese Custard Tarts

Portugal’s most famous delicacy – Pastel de Nata!
If you have ever been to Lisbon, you definitely know the crispy tarts filled with rich egg custard sold in the local pastelarias. Anyone who has tried them, knows how freakingly good they are.

Don’t worry, if you can’t get to Lisbon, pastéis de nata seem to be Portugal’s donut that you find in almost every pastry shop and bakery not only across the land but pretty much anywhere where there’s a strong Portuguese presence abroad. 


Allow me to help you taste the sweet side of Portugal through this recipe.

Made from the simplest ingredients, pastei de nata are the tastiest little tarts you’ll ever sink your teeth into.

What ingredients do you need:

  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Puff Pastry

Is it ok to use store-bought puff pastry?
Make the dough yourself if you are a make-from-scratch freak or try to get the best quality puff pastry you can find and you’ll be good to go!

A tip to make the store-bought puff pastry taste just like the real deal: Half bake it and cool down before adding the custard. The double baking will make it turn crispy and just how you want it.

Can you make in advance?
The egg custard can be prepared and kept in refrigerator for 2-3 days. Assemble and bake the pastries on the day of serving.

Can you double the recipe?
Of course! You wont even notice how quickly your first batch will be gone. Double the recipe and share fearlessly!

Pastéis de Nata - Portuguese Custard Tarts

Fatima Sadal - Chef on Rhine
These famous Portuguese pastries from Belem have a crisp pastry crust filled with a luscious baked egg custard. Fairly easy to make, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.


  • 1 pkt puff pastry 275 g
  • 250 ml milk
  • 2 strips lemon peel
  • 1 stick cinnamon small
  • 30 g flour
  • 180 g sugar fine granulated
  • 125 ml water
  • 4 egg yolks


  • Dissolve the flour in 1/2 cup milk. Heat the rest of the milk in a pot with the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel. When it comes to a boil, add the flour and mix well. Stir and allow to boil again. Remove from heat.
  • Place the sugar and the water in a pot and bring to boil. Cook for exactly 2 minutes on high heat. Then remove from heat.
  • Add the sugar syrup gradually to the milk and continue stirring.
  • Strain the mixture and allow to cool.
  • Grease a muffin tray with butter and dust with flour.
  • Roll the puff pastry lengthwise into a tight spiral and cut into 10-12 slices.
  • Place the slices into baking molds.
  • With your thumbs start pushing the center of the dough until it reaches the top where it should be thicker. The bottom should have a thinner layer of dough.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 250 C for 10-12 min.
  • Press with the back of a spoon and allow to cool.
  • Add the egg yolks in the milk mixture and whisk.
  • Fill the lined molds with the custard.
  • Place the tray in the oven, preheated at 250 C for 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove from the molds and serve warm or cold. Sprinkle icing sugar or cinnamon to taste.


  • Always fold the pastry lengthwise to get a longer roulade. Youll be able to yield more pastries this way.
  • High heat is important for a crispy pastry and a few black spots on the top are exactly how it should be.
  • You can make the filling up to several days ahead and assemble them right before baking.

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