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Richard and Fiona's Kitchen
Portuguese Custard Pie - Pastéis de Nata
Portuguese Custard Pie - Pastéis de Nata

My son saw these in a Jamie Oliver recipe book and made them with some help from Granny - they are good. Younger children will need help from an adult to make the caramel, and if they use glasses for the pastry cases.

You need:

For the pastry (makes 16):

approx 225g of puff pastry
1 egg yolk
4 tablespns caster sugar
a light grating of nutmeg
a couple of pinches of cinnamon

For the custard (makes enough for 8 pastry cases):

6 large eggs
4 dessertspoons runny honey
2 vanilla pods, scored lenghtways and seeds removed
zest of 1 orange
565ml double cream

For the caramel:

1 big handful of caster sugar
3 tbsp water
 

Steps:

To make the pastry cases:

1. Dust a surface with flour and roll out the pastry to a bit bigger than an A4 sized sheet of paper. Brush with the egg yolk and scatter the sugar and spices over it.

2. Roll the pastry up tightly like a Swiss roll to make a long sausage shape.  Cut across the roll into approx 2.5cm/1" pieces. There will be approx 16 pieces, you can freeze half of them if you want to.

3. Preheat the oven to  200 C/gas 6. Turn the pieces onto their sides and flatten them slightly. Flour a surface and roll each piece of pastry out into a thin circle - to about the size of a teacup saucer.
I greased and floured a large muffin tray and shaped the circles of pastry into them. Jamie O greased and floured the outside of 8 glass tumblers and moulded a piece of pastry over the base of each, then put them on a baking tray, pastry on the top. Whichever method you use put them into a preheated oven for approx 15 minutes until crisp and golden.

4. Remove from the oven. If you have used tumblers pat the raised top of the pastry down onto the base of the tumbler.

Allow the pastry to cool and carefull remove the pastry cases from the tumblers or muffin tin.
 
While the cases are cooling make the custard:
 
1. Whip the eggs, honey, vanilla seeds and orange zest in a bowl.
 
2. In a heavy based pan heat the cream until it's nearly boiling. Immediately add it to the egg mixture and whisk it (fast) for 30 seconds.
 
3. Put the mixture back in the pan over a medium heat. Stir continuously and use a spatula to get into the edges of the pan. Keep stirring to keep the custard smooth. When the custard is as thick as thick yoghurt, spoon it into the pastry cases and leave to cool.

To finish them off make the caramel:

1. Put the sugar and water in a pan. Bring to the boil and gently agitate until golden brown. It is very hot, don't touch it, just drizzle the caramel over the custard tarts. It will bubble, then cool and crisp.
 

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