This week, I’m seriously proud of my pastéis de nata #bakeoffbakealong technical challenge!
Although most people may not have heard of a “natas” as they’re affectionately known, I have a friend who adores them, and therefore I’ve been made very aware of their presence in the past!
However, an egg custard tart isn’t usually my bag. Until this weekend I’d never even made confectioners custard from scratch, always option for the delicious taste of Bird’s! As my mum used to describe, the sweet custard powder, sugar and dash of milk mix you make up to then stir into hot milk was “nectar of the Gods”. I digress…
This week’s episode was actually a bit boring. I don’t know why, it just felt a bit flat. Stacey should definitely have gone as well, over Julia. That was unfair judging! I still love cheeky chappy Liam, and Sophie and Kate combined make for a badass stunt woman and blacksmith. I don’t know who I actually want to win though, so it’s all open from here.
This weekend alone I actually ended up making two types of egg custard from scratch – one for crème brulees (if you remember way back when in 2015, my crème bru-lakes were a disaster, but fear no more, I have conquered them!) and a slightly different custard for the pastéis de nata. The subtle difference was less cream, but the addition of cornflour. And the obvious rough puff pastry cases.
Seeing as I was baking for the majority of yesterday afternoon, I had the time to whip up the custard, which was relatively simple in the end. Leaving it to cool I got on with my other bakes and makes (no less than a chicken curry, my first batch of cider apple butter, onion bahjis and an army of mini meringues (how else is one supposed to use up SEVEN egg whites from the rejects of egg custard?!)
The pastry also seemed to turn out ok, learning from the bakers mistakes in the episode, I can definitely see why they got confused by which way to roll. My disks weren’t perfectly round, but once in the tins looks pretty acceptable, then once spooned with the custardy mix, into the oven they went. As ever, my preference was this BBC Food recipe.
Before they were nearly done, I thought I’d made a major mistake. The custard had risen way above the crunchy pastry and domed on the top. I hadn’t really considered the fact it would sink back down once out of the oven. The bit I was most keen to get correct was the signature browned top and though these photos taken at 10pm might make them look overdone, I can assure you I was relieved that none of them burnt!
Would I make pastéis de nata again?
For a technical I can see why if you’d never eaten them they’d be pretty confusing, but in reality they actually weren’t too difficult, and I was really pleased with the swirly bottomed results! My fears of scrambled egg were quashed and as a fancy looking quick and simple afternoon treat, I really enjoyed baking them.