Thursday, 16 August 2012


I was asked recently to make some Portuguese Custard Tarts - Natas  and jumped at the chance.  There are lots of recipes out there but I find these work every time guaranteed.  You make the custard first so when it’s baked you have a lovely caramelised top.

Portuguese food has the warmth of it’s mediterranean neighbours with an added kick of north african spices.  Cinnamon and vanilla are very popular and this recipe calls for both.  The pastry has a lovely swirl of cinnamon running through it which means it looks great and tastes very special indeed.
I have used a cinnamon paste from the supermarket but if you can’t find it just sprinkle the pastry with sugar and ground cinnamon to cover it.
500g Puff Pastry
1 tbsp Cinnamon Paste
80g Sugar
80ml Water
500ml Milk
2 tbsp Corn Flour
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
2 egg yolks
Over a low heat warm the water and sugar till the sugar has dissolved then simmer for a further 2 minutes.
Mix the corn flour in a bowl with a little of the milk to form a paste then add the remaining milk.  Add the milk to the water along with the egg yolks and vanilla.  Whisk over a low heat till it thickens.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover with clingfilm to stop a skin forming.  Leave to cool.
Roll out your pastry on a floured surface to form a square roughly  35cm x 35cm.  Evenly spread the cinnamon paste over the pastry, not too thick, think of it as marmite.  Then roll it up tightly to form a long sausage.  

Cut the roll into 12 even pieces then roll out each piece flat on a floured surface to about 10cm/4” diameter.  
Lightly grease a muffin tin then line each hole with pastry.  Fill the shells with the cooled custard and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C


  1. These look delicious - I love the idea of swirling cinnamon through the pastry!

  2. I love cinnamon, I'd swirl it through anything given half the chance!