The pastel de nata is now well-known all over the world. No longer found only in Portugal, cafe’s all over the world feature this popular Portuguese delicacy.

By the way, “pastel” is singular. You often hear the plural reference - “pastéis de nata”.  In English-speaking countries they are referred to as Portuguese custard tarts.

The most famous place to buy pastéis de nata is near Belém. In this video clip below, from Tom Bruno, you can see the sheer volume produced at the Pasteis de Belém bakery at any one time.

Pastel de Nata custard filling

In this video by Fabio Goncalves, you can see the tarts being made.

A lot of recipes internationally call the Pastel de Nata a Portuguese Tart or a Portuguese Egg Tart.

Watch this video to find out more about Pastéis de Belém.

And if you want to have a go yourself, here’s a popular recipe for Pastel de Nata. Try making it at home.

Pastel de nata ingredients

  • Puff Pastry 600g fresh or purchase
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 60g flour
  • 500g sugar
  • 250 ml water
  • 7 egg yolks

Method - making pastéis de nata

  1. Use a rolling pin to stretch the dough into a rectangle, then press it well into a roll and cut into slices with a thickness of 1.5cm each.
  2. Place the slices into the shapes of biscuits, smeared with butter.
  3. Use your thumbs to push the centre of the dough to spread it so that the dough is thin in the middle and thicker around the edges. You can then place the shapes into the baking tray dishes.
  4. Dissolve the flour in a little milk.
  5. Bring the remaining milk to boil, add the cinnamon stick and lemon peel. When boiling, add the flour and stir well. Stir until it begins to boil and turn off the heat.
  6. In a pan, boil the sugar and water and stir then leave it to boil for exactly 3 minutes.
  7. Add the sugar syrup in a thin milk and mix well. Strain in a colander and let it cool until cold.
  8. Add the egg yolks into the cream and stir well. Fill the shapes with the cream.
  9. Bake in preheated oven at 250 degrees for 17 minutes.
  10. Serve hot or cold, sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon.
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