Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata) (2024)

Portuguese custard tarts (or pasteis de nata) are crisp, creamy, and decadently sweet. This Portuguese dessert recipe features a delicately spiced flavor and uses pantry ingredients like egg yolks, flour, and cinnamon to create a one-of-a-kind pastry. Try your hand at making these irresistibly delicious custard treats with trademark caramelized tops and flaky, buttery puff pastry. Follow the top-rated recipe for crave-worthy results, plus learn tips for making the best pasteis de nata ever.

What Does Pasteis de Nata Mean?

Pasteis de nata is Portuguese for cream pastries — the name describes the velvety texture of this classic dish. The pastel de nata was first made over 300 years ago in a monastery west of Lisbon.

Monks developed the custard-filled treat recipe with sugar and surplus egg yolks — a result of using egg whites to launder clothes. The crisp golden pastry filled with a soft, rich cream is an enticing bite of history.

How to Make Pasteis de Nata

A pastel de nata is made in three steps; dough, syrup, and custard. You'll find the full recipe below with step-by-step instructions, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated recipe;

Begin by making a pastry dough layered with unsalted butter. Next, combine sugar, spices, and water to make the syrup. Boil the syrup mixture until it reaches 210 degrees F, then remove it from heat.

Combine and cook all the custard ingredients on the stovetop before pressing pastry dough into muffin tins. Fill the dough with custard, then bake in the oven until the tops are fully caramelized.

How to Store Pasteis de Nata

While pasteis de nata are best enjoyed warm on the day they're made, they can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. Reheat them in a 350 degrees F oven for best results.

Can I Freeze Pasteis de Nata?

Yes, you can technically freeze Portuguese custard tarts — but be aware that the custard may split and become grainy. The chance of splitting goes up rapidly with time, so avoid keeping frozen pastries for longer than a month.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Wow, these are absolutely amazing!" raves reviewer Tracy H. "I've been craving these ever since I tried them in Lisbon last year. I followed the recipe exactly and they came out perfect!"

"I own a bakery and an individual asked if I made Portuguese custard tarts," shares eatatsarahs. "I said I'd try, and this was the first and ONLY recipe I used! I now make these on a weekly basis and make 5-6 dozen a week."

"Love them," says an Allrecipes member. " Don't take your eyes away from the oven as they are easy to overcook."

Editorial contributions by Rai Mincey

Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata) (2024)
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