Portuguese Custard Tarts / Pastéis De Nata

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes | Serves: 4

These distinctive tarts can be found all over Portugal and in Gibraltar’s pastry shops. The trick is to bake them in a hot oven to crisp the puff pastry and bake the custard so that it browns and rises, then caves in as it sets. Make sure you try them warm.

  • 300ML Milk
  • 3 Tbsp Cornflour
  • 150G Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs Yolks
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 500G Puff Pastry Block
  • 50ML Water
  • Vanilla Pod (optional)


Prepare the custard by mixing the egg yolks, sugar, 50ML water and cornflour in a pan and whisking together over a low heat.

When smooth, gradually pour in the milk, until the mixture continues to thicken and smoothen out. Pour in the vanilla extract and scrape out the inside of a vanilla pod, add this to the custard.

Cool the custard down, leaving it covered to one side and prepare the pastry.

Roll the pastry out, not too thinly, but enough to cover the holes of a 12 hole cupcake tin. Press down covering the sides and bottoms, use your fingers to shape the pastry. 

Pour the custard into the pastry, leaving a gap from the top.

Oven bake for 15 minutes at 225°C (fan) until the tops look golden. (They may swell up, but don’t worry as these sink when removed from the oven and cool down).