Bake Off Bake Along: Week 6 - Lemon Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata)

We'll just skim past the fact that we're on week 6 already and I have been having far too much fun on holiday and weekends away to have done any baking for the other weeks. After a fortnight in Portugal this summer, eating my body weight in pasteis de nata and sagres, I decided to give them a try myself.

That aside, pastry week is one of my least favourite weeks. Particularly as I don't think Paul would accept the use of shop bought pastry. And so, to keep the silver fox happy, I gave a rough puff a go all in the name of 'bake off bake along'. I used this recipe from the BBC for the pastry which was pretty simple to follow. I just struggled with re-rolling some offcuts to get extra tarts from. They lost their layers and ended up more like shortcrust. Otherwise, not too shabby I'd say.

P O R T U G E S E   L E M O N   C U S T A R D   T A R T S   ( P A S T E I S   D E   N A T A)
(Recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood, makes one dozen tarts)

300g rough puff pastry, recipe here or shop bought is fine too
375ml whole milk
zest of 2 lemons
45g plain flour
185ml water
375g caster sugar
7 large egg yolks
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a 12 hole tart / muffin tray.
  2. Make the pastry or roll out a block of shop bought pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Use a 10cm cookie cutter to cut out a dozen discs and fill each of the tart holes gently pressing into each edge. Prick the base of each tart with a fork, cover with individual squares of baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 10 minutes until the pastry starts to firm. Remove from the oven and set aside whilst you make the custard.
  3. In a small pan, heat the milk, lemon zest and flour together whisking continuously for 2-3 minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the sugar and water into a separate pan and gently heat to melt the sugar. Once melted, increase the heat to boil until the syrup reaches 100-110 degrees.
  5. Gradually whisk the syrup into the milk mixture. Add the egg yolks to a large mixing bowl and strain over the milk, whisking continuously. Cover the surface with a layer of cling film and leave to cool. 
  6. Pour the custard into each of the custard cases, about two thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for up to 20 minutes. The pastry should be golden and the custard bubbly, firm and brown.
If you think your tarts are cooked but the pastry hasn't browned enough, dust with a little icing sugar and grill or blow torch the tops until golden. Sneaky trick. 

Bake Off Bake Along:

Week 1: lemon and raspberry loaf
Week 6: lemon pasteis de nata, egg custard tarts
Week 8: treacle rum nicky tart

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