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Easy Portuguese Tarts

Slofoodgroup Team October 12, 2022

Flaky Tarts with Ground Cinnamon

Everyone knows and loves pastéis de nata and here is a recipe for easily replicating them at home. Flaky, yet rich and smooth, with a subtle vanilla aroma, this dessert has quickly gained popularity amongst dessert lovers. This recipe includes a homemade puff pastry dough but store-bought can also be used. In order to achieve perfectly cooked and flaky pastry, it is best to bake the tarts in metal muffin tins. In lack of, a muffin tray wrapped in aluminum foil will do.

Buttery Cinnamon Tarts 

Serves: 12 tarts

Prep Time: 1h‘

Cooking Time: 15’

Additional Time: 20’ 


For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

    For the custard:

    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups milk divided
    • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 6 egg yolks

      To garnish:


      For the dough:

      1. To a bowl, add the flour, salt, and water and knead until a soft, pillowy dough forms. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

      2. Generously flour the work surface and roll the dough into a square. Spread 1/3 of the softened butter on top and fold into thirds. Turn the dough 90°F and roll again to get a square. Dust with more flour as needed. Spread another 1/3 of the butter on top, fold into thirds and repeat the process one more time.

      3. Using a dough scraper as an aid, lift one edge of the dough and roll the dough in a tight log, brushing off any excess flour. Trim the ends, wrap in plastic foil and allow to chill in the refrigerator for minimum 2 hours, preferably overnight.

      For the custard:

      1. To a bowl, whisk the flour and 1/4 cup of milk until smooth. Set aside.

      2. To a saucepan, add the remaining milk and heat up on medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add the hot milk on top of the flour mixture and mix well.

      3. To another saucepan, add the sugar, cinnamon stick, and water to a saucepan and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 220°F/105°C.

      4. Remove the cinnamon stick from the sugar syrup and pour it in a thin stream into the hot milk and flour mixture, stirring constantly. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Finally, gradually whisk the egg yolks one by one while constantly mixing to avoid curdling. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

      To assemble the pastries:

      1. Preheat the oven to the highest setting, fan on.

      2. Remove the pastry log from the refrigerator and cut it into 3/4 inch pieces. Place the dough into the muffin tray and with the use of your fingers, flatten it to shape the muffin mold, creating a pastry cup.

      3. Fill each pastry cup 3/4 full with the custard.

      4. Bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes or until deep golden brown on the edges.

      5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top and serve warm.