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What is a “Pastel de Nata”?
Literally translating, it means pastry of cream, however, they are not made with cream but are simply referring to the creamy texture of the custard made with milk. They are commonly referred to as Portuguese Custard Tarts in English.
The “pastel de nata” is a baked egg tart pastry with a crispy and flaky outside made of puff pastry while the inside is creamy and sweet custard.
“Pastel” = singular
“Pasteis” = plural
Portuguese custard tart
British egg custard tart
Portuguese = puff pastry
British = shortcrust pastry
Portuguese = milk, not cream
British = milk and cream
Portuguese = high, from 220C up to 400C
British = lower than 200C
“In this custard tart fight, the British are taking a pasting… British tarts use the less flavoursome shortcrust pastry, which doesn’t provide as much textural contrast with the smooth custard. They are also topped with nutmeg, which fails to bring the custard alive as Portugal’s cinnamon does.” Guardian
“Pastéis de Nata” or Portuguese custards tarts, originated in the 18th century when nuns used egg whites for starching clothes and monks used them for clearing wine resulting in large quantities of egg yolks leftover.
As it was common at the time, yolks were used to create cakes and pastries. Catholic monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, Lisbon, are attributed with the creation of “Pastéis de nata” as they attempted to generate much needed revenue by selling them to tourists visiting the Monastery and Belém Tower.
Gato Preto Ltd
We produce and supply the best quality bake-from-frozen Pasteis de Nata out there.
Our authentic Portuguese custard tarts are the result of a continuous hunger for quality improvement by the long-standing family run business, to develop a unique and irresistible recipe of pastéis de nata whilst following traditional methods.
Get in touch and let your taste buds make you happy.
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