Recipe: Pastel de Nata

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Pastel de nata is original from Lisbon, Portugal. In the last decades it became popular globaly, being found in cafes from cities all over the world.

Health warning: some foods have too much sugar, others have too much fat, sometimes too much cholesterol. Pastel de nata has all of the above Some frugality is advised.

The final result


For the custard

Ingredient Quantity Notes
Egg yolks 4 units search for online videos on how to separate from the egg white, its great fun
Sugar 150 grams refined, white, cheapest
Flour 45 grams low gluten flour
Milk 250 ml full fat milk, UHT is OK
Water 75 ml tap water is ok
Lemon skin 2 peels if you do not use lemons often
Cinamon 1 stick cinamon powder is NOT OK. but is also nice without the stick

Note about sugar: usually recipes recommend around twice as much sugrar as the 150 grams above. The important is that the proportion of sugar:water if 2:1 in grams/ml. Basically, simple sirup as done for cocktails.

For the pastry

This part never came good so far. I use mostly on pre-made puff pastry. Be careful not to buy Shortcrust pastry or Filo pastry.


  1. Put all the milk in a pan with the lemon skins and cinamon stick, then slowly add the flour. It should make slimmy consistency. If there are lumps, to not worry, it will be filtered in the end. Lets it reach boil, then put heat to low.

  2. In another pot, put the water and the sugar. Mix it and take from the heat when it starts boiling. The liquid should clear and slightly viscous.

  3. Now comes the is critical step. Pour the sirup into the milk very slowly while mixing. If dropping the sirup too fast, the mix will become curdly and the custard is spoiled. There is some chemistry going one here.

  4. Let it cool down, when cold, add the egg yolks and mix it well.

  5. In a metal cast for cakes, put the pastry and push it to the walls of the cast same as used for muffins, for example, but must be metal).

  6. Leave in the oven at 250 C, for 15 minutes

  7. Eat. Warm or cold is fine. They last a fews days in the fridge.

Cooled down pastel de nata

Above: a finished cut pastel. More liquid than this is also ok.

What shoud NOT be done

Some variants are possible, however it can be hardly be called a pastel de nata if:

  • Vanilla is added, it damages the lemon skin and cinamon taste
  • Orange. Same reason as above.