Posted in Recipes on 16.06.2023
Portuguese Custard Tarts
prep: 20 mins / cook: 35 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 55 mins / quantity: 12 tarts Print recipe?
No plane ticket required for these Portuguese custard tarts! Creamy vegan custard is housed in a crisp puff pastry shell before being baked to golden perfection.
Confession. I made these Portuguese custard tarts – traditionally known as pastel de nata – before I moved house a couple of months ago. Normally I don’t make things that far in advance of publishing. I wish I were that organised. But then I DID move house and I tried to keep up with posting recipes and sorting boxes and finding new homes for everything. Then trying to remember where those new homes were.
So things slid or got pushed back and these dinky little vegan tarts were one of those things. But they’re here now! And they were so worth the wait. Even though you, dear reader, didn’t actually know you were waiting.
Another reason I made them before moving was the village community. I’ve mentioned it before but the people made it, IMO, the best place in the country to live. And I was lucky that they liked my food. I also knew that if I made these without the option to share I would have inhaled the whole lot without even a second thought. So they got shared and enjoyed and my hips and knees thanked me. I just inhaled 6 of them instead of 12.
Let’s talk vegan custard tart ingredients:
Silken tofu – if you’re new to veganism or vegan curious, or even a seasoned vegan you might wonder what on earth tofu is doing in a sweet recipe. Tofu is incredibly versatile – it has little to no flavour of its own so absorbs whatever flavour it’s paired with. And silken tofu lends itself so very very well to anything creamy and rich. I’ve used it for a variety of recipes – including this creamy lemon and basil pasta sauce and this chocolate tart.
Icing sugar – because we’re not cooking the custard before it goes in the tarts to be cooked, using icing sugar means it will be less grainy than using regular caster or granulated sugar.
Cornflour – this is what will help thicken the custard as we’re not using eggs.
How to make vegan pastel de nata:
Start with the tart cases. If you’re feeling lazy/pushed for time you could skip the whole cinnamon roll part of the process and just use the pastry plain. But honestly, it takes just a few more minutes and takes these vegan tarts to a whole new level of eating one after another after another.
Unroll your puff pastry sheet and sprinkle over the mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg, covering as much of the pastry as possible. Then roll it up like a Swiss roll and cut into 12 equal segments.
With your palm, flatten each segment, swirl side up then roll out to a circle large enough to fit into a muffin tin so that some of the pastry is sitting proud of the tin (see photo above)
Bake the cases for 10 minutes in a preheated oven. Then as soon as you take them out and the pastry is still pliable, use the back of the spoon to push the pastry, widening the hole for the filling
To make the filling, simply put all the filling ingredients – tofu, icing sugar, vanilla and cornflour – in a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.
Carefully pour the filling into the tart cases until they’re almost too full – the filling will shrink back slightly as it cooks. Do this as close to the oven as possible so you don’t have far to walk the tray!
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked and the tarts wobble but are set.
Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before carefully lifting out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or just inhale while still warm … because the smell while they bake, oh my.
Looking for even more dessert pie recipes? Try these:
If you make this recipe or any of the recipes from The Cook & Him I’d LOVE to see! Just snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #thecookandhim and tagging @thecookandhim in the photo itself (as this guarantees I’ll see your picture!)
Portuguese Custard Tarts
prep: 20 mins / cook: 35 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 55 mins / quantity: 12 tarts
- 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (200g) silken tofu
- 1/2 cup (110g) vegan cream
- 1 cup (140g) icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (35g) cornflour
- Preheat your oven to 180 Fan / 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6 and lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin
- In a small bowl mix together the ground cinnamon and nutmeg
- Unroll the puff pastry then only a lightly floured surface roll out to a large rectangle. Sprinkle the cinnamon/nutmeg mixture all over
- Roll the pastry up like a swiss roll then cut into 12 equal segments
- Using the palm of your hand flatten the segments swirl side up then roll out into a circle large enough to fit your muffin tin with a little bit of pastry sitting proud of the top of the tin (see photo in post)
- Bake the cases for 10 minutes then as soon as they come out of the oven use the back of a spoon to push the pastry, flattening it so that the hole for the filling is widened
- While they're baking make the filling by putting the silken tofu, cream, icing sugar, vanilla and cornflour in a food processor or blender and whizzing until smooth. Scrape the bowl or jug as necessary
- Pour the filling into the cases - you want to almost overfill as the filling shrinks during cooking so make sure you're close to the oven!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and the filling still has a slight wobble but is no longer liquid
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes before lifting out and cooling on a wire rack
- Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh berries and an extra dust of icing sugar
Hello and welcome to The Cook & Him.
We are Sam (The Cook), Phil (Him) and our little dog Nooch. What started with a plan to shed a few pounds back in 2016, soon became obvious that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring.
So, combining Sam’s 15 years of experience working within Michelin starred restaurants and our love for deliciously healthy food, we’re creating recipes for you to make and enjoy. We’ve added our own unique spin on traditional and contemporary vegetarian and vegan recipes that keep you (and your pets!) healthy and full. And we make sure they just work.
All things autumn - warming soups, savoury bakes and delicious sweet treats!
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