I snapped this photo with my phone when I was waiting for my flight from Lisbon, Portugal. I stayed with a friend at her house in Portugal for a week this past summer. Knowing what a pastry-lover I am, she introduced me to Portugal's most common pastry; pastel de nata (plural: pastéis de nata). It's a egg-based tart made out layers of puff pastry, a vanilla custard and caramel drizzled on top. I ate my last one at the airport and happily sipping sweet white wine (flying is so much more fun tipsy ;)
And during the cold month of January I am recreating this wonderful tart that reminds me of long, lazy summer days. The recipe is by Jamie Oliver (can you tell I have a thing for celebrity chefs?) from his book 30 Minute Meals. And honestly, it didn't take a minute longer to make them. Such an easy, great recipe to make something that is sweet, satisfying and fulfilling. I don't recall the pastéis de nata I ate in Portugal to have an orange flavor like these, but it was a nice addition. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Quick Portuguese Tarts: 30 Minute Meals - Jamie Oliver, found here.
- plain flour, for dusting
- 1 x 375g pack of pre-rolled puff pastry
- ground cinnamon
- 125g crème fraîche
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons golden caster sugar
- 1 orange
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Dust a clean surface with flour. Unroll the sheet of pastry, then cut it in half so you end up with two 20 x 20cm squares of pastry (put one in the fridge for another day). Sprinkle over a few good pinches of ground cinnamon, then roll the pastry into a Swiss roll shape and cut into 6 rounds. Put these into 6 of the holes in a muffin tin, and use your thumbs to stretch and mould the pastry into the holes so the bottom is flat and the pastry comes up to the top. Put on the top shelf of the oven and cook for around 8 to 10 minutes (set the timer), or until lightly golden.
- Spoon the crème fraîche into a small bowl. Add the egg, vanilla paste or extract, 1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar and the zest of 1 orange. Mix well.
- Take the muffin tin out of the oven, and use a teaspoon to press the puffed up pastry back to the sides and make room for the filling. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture into the tart cases, and return to the top shelf of the oven. Set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Put a small saucepan on a high heat. Squeeze in the juice from the zested orange and add 4 tablespoons of golden caster sugar. Stir and keep a good eye on it, but remember caramel can burn badly so don’t touch or taste.
- Pour some caramel over each tart (they’ll still be wobbly, but that’s good). Put aside to set.
you've discovered on vacation?