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Pastel de nata (Portuguese egg tart)
not for the weak-hearted

Here’s a no-fold shortcut if you still want to try it anyway

Freshly baked pastel de nata

I stay away from any dough lamination techniques because of our hot and humid weather. I’m talking about puff pastries, flaky pies, croissants, and this pastel de nata or Portuguese egg tarts.

I first tried this in Macau, then I discovered a small bakery in Hong Kong called Orchid Café that sells them, and my mom and I would drop by whenever we went there. I haven’t had it in years.

Egg tart from Orchid Café, Tsim Tsa Tsui, Hong Kong

No way was I going to attempt it, until I saw Food52’s version of this egg tart: they used a stand mixer’s pasta attachment to create the layers. I thought, I can do that!

I thought wrong. It was not as easy as it looked, but if only to satisfy a once-in-a-blue-moon craving, I’ll probably make it again. Just don’t expect it to be on my weekly roster of fresh bakes.

Mishaps and learnings:

  1. My milk mixture burned at the bottom. Make sure the milk mixture is at low to medium heat and whisk continuously so no lumps form.

  2. Use room temperature butter so it’s easy to spread.

  3. Always dust the counter and pasta roller machine with flour to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the counter or to the pasta roller.

  4. When mixing the milk mixture and egg mixture to create the custard filling, pour the hot milk mixture slowly while whisking. You don’t want to end up with scrambled egg.


Custard filling:

  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Tart pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt


Custard filling:

  • Mix milk, cream, sugar, flour in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer; stir continuously to avoid clumping.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, condensed milk, and vanilla.
  • Add the milk mixture slowly to the egg mixture.
  • Refrigerate until cool and start preparing the tart pastry.

Tart pastry:

  • Using a stand mixer, mix everything together until it forms into a smooth dough.
  • Refrigerate the dough for an hour.
  • Divide the dough into two portions.
  • Attach pasta roller to the stand mixer.
  • Pass one portion of the dough through the thickest setting and repeat until the thinnest setting, making sure to dust the dough each time you run it through the pasta roller.
  • Lay the sheets flat on a well-dusted countertop and spread a thin layer of butter evenly across the dough.
  • Start rolling the dough from the short end. Once you finish rolling the first sheet, place it over the second sheet and continue rolling until you have one log of dough.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Cut into 12 disks and place them on the tart mold.
  • Push the dough from the center outwards until it fits the mold.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the tart pastry and fill all the way to the top.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the custard iscaramelized.
  • Let cool for a 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Serve while the tart is still flaky and crispy.



Pastel de nata (Portuguese egg tarts) crispy, custardy goodness! #fyp #foodtiktok #ecqeats #thekitchendiarist

♬ Better Together - Jack Johnson
About author


Spanning two decades of a career in publishing, she began to see the lockdown as a priceless boon – for it has given her the leisure of unleashing her potential as an amateur baker, writer, and digital publisher.

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