Pastel de Nata (Portugese Custard Tart)

Pastel de Nada

By Cat, March 2017 (Image, right, from Viking River Cruises, cropped)

I’d never heard of this tiny treat until I got the newsletter from Viking River Cruises that included this recipe. But I’ve long been a fan of anything custard. This recipe uses frozen puff pastry, but of course you can make your own; see Puff Pastry for my versions.

These are made as tiny tarts, but of course you could make two or more larger round tarts. Just not too large or the amount of time in the oven needed to set the custard may brown the pastry too much.

See also: 1. Tarts Menu; 2.Puddings/Custards Menu; 3. European Ethnic Menu; r.  Puff Pastry

Pastel de Nata

12-cup muffin tin

This recipe is adapted from a Viking River Cruises recipe (1). (Image, right, of 12-cup muffin tin from Amazon (2))

If you make your own puff pastry, you need enough for two 9″ x 14″ rectangles (half of my ‘classic’ recipe or my full ‘rough’ recipe).

Makes 12 tarts to serve six (2 tarts per person). If desired, serve with fresh berries and whipped cream

Ingredients & Equipment

  • unbleached white flour for dusting
  • 1 lb frozen puff pastry, or make your own see Puff Pastry
  • 1 cup fresh whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch or 6 Tbsp tapioca starch (see Conversions between Starches & Other Thickeners for more)
  • 1 cup Rapadura or white cane sugar; or ½ tsp stevia extract powder plus 1-2 Tbsp sugar)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks (or 3 yolks and 2 whole eggs) from a local farmer (or Organic commercial eggs)
  • Equipment:
  • 12-compartment muffin tin (tiny cups)
  • small saucepan
  • medium bowl
  • egg whisk


  1. Pastry: Prepare homemade puff pastry if not using frozen pastry.
  2. Roll pastry into two rectangles, roughly 9″ by 13 ½”
  3. But each rectangle into 6-each, 4 ½” diameter circles for total of 12 circles.
  4. Lightly butter each cup of a 12-compartment muffin tin, then place a circle in each compartment, pressing to bottom and around sides of the compartment. If pastry rises above top of cups, pinch it as you would for a scalloped edge pie crust. Set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F
  6. Custard: If using stevia, dissolve it in the vanilla. Place milk, starch, sweetener and vanilla in saucepan. Set pan over medium heat and cook mixture, stirring constantly until mixture thickens; remove from heat.
  7. Place eggs in bowl; add about half of the milk mixture to the eggs, whisking to combine, then pour that max back into remaining milk mix in saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  8. Cook until thickened, with continuous whisking, about 5 minutes.
  9. Pour custard into prepared pastry-lined cups.
  10. Bake tarts about 20 minutes, until pastry is golden and filling is lightly browned on top, and a knife inserted into center comes our clean.
  11. Cool slightly before removing tarts.


  1. Viking River Cruises Recipe:
  2. Amazon: Good Cook 12-cup muffin tin, ASIN B0026RHI9Q


About Cat

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