Pastéis de Nata
Bom dia! If you read my recent post recapping my trip to Portugal, then you know that I promised a recipe from my time there so that we could all have a little slice of Portugal in our kitchens at home. For Spain I gave you tapas ideas, for France we made some macarons, and now I present to you: pastéis de nata. I raved about these little beauties in my post, and I knew I wanted to try my hand at making them when we got home.
There was just one little problem: I was terrified of them. I’ve never made pastry before, but I love to make things from scratch and test my limits. On the other hand, I hate to fail, and I don’t have the money to waste on ingredients! Every recipe I found for authentic pastéis de nata involved making full-puff pastry from scratch, and I just couldn’t handle the thought of failure. However, I eventually stumbled onto a recipe from food52 that suggested (and even encouraged) using whatever kind of pastry dough you wanted – be it full puff, rough puff, or plain old refrigerated and pre-packaged. Suddenly, this difficult recipe became possible because someone was telling me it was ok to “cheat!”
I decided to go for a rough puff pastry because I still wanted to try making it from scratch, but it’s a little bit easier than a full puff. However, this method still involved a whole lot of time of me rolling the dough, freezing it, rolling it again, freezing, doubting myself and freaking out, and then rolling some more. This isn’t for everyone, but I want everyone to be able to enjoy this. So just as I said in my first ever post, using store-bought pastry is ok. I want to instill a love for baking and cooking in everyone that reads my blog, and I want to take away some of the fear or reservations that people have about it. So if you look at pastry and think “I’m never going to try that,” I say don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe! We all have different temperaments in the kitchen, but what’s important is that anyone can cook; you just have to find the best way that works for you!
Other than the pastry, the custard can also take some time and careful watching. You want to make sure you’re whisking it on low heat, to avoid any scrambled eggs in your custard. Just be patient and follow the instructions and I trust it will turn out fine! As always, I’d love to hear from you if you decide to try your hand at these. Leave me a comment here or on my social media accounts if you have questions about the particulars of the recipe, and I’d be more than happy to walk through a solution! Happy baking!