Pastéis de Nata – Portuguese Custard Tarts

These classic pastries are everyone’s favorite. Once you experience just how easy they are to make at home, you’ll never buy them at a bakery again.

Unless of course, your lucky enough to be in one of the famous pastry shops in Lisbon!

Before we get started, I want to share with you the history of this famous pastry that was first created over 200 years ago!

Portuguese Egg Custard Tarts, famously known as Pastéis de Belem are famous in many countries all over the world.

The original Pastéis de Belem, were first created by nuns who lived at the Monestary of Jeronimos in Belem, Lisbon in 1837.

Casa Pasteis de Belem is located in the town of Belem in Lisbon, Portugal. The official name of the town is “Santa Maria de Belem” but its referred to as “Belem”. The name “Belem” originated from the Portuguese word for “Bethlehem”.

Many bakeries have tried to replicate the recipe to no avail. The equally famous; “Pasteis de Nata” it’s copy cat version, has become a famous substitute for the original at every Portuguese bakery throughout Portugal and many other countries around the world.

The famous recipe is kept a secret. “The secret can only be memorized, it can’t be written down”, says the pastry chef who was carefully selected among 80 co-workers.

Café Pastéis de Belém below, sells approximately 20,000 pasteis per day! Wow!

Photo Credit: (

The pastry’s name was trademarked in 1911, which means the company is the only one that can call the famous sweets by that name.  Visit this dessert site; for more on the history of one of the world’s most popular desserts!

In, December 2011, Pasteis de Belem was listed by Lonely Planet # 2 of 583 things to do in Lisbon, #5 of 12718 restaurants in Europe and # 42 of 382 restaurants in Portugal. (

Watch this video of the famous bakery of Pasteis de Belem.

*I recommend that you try making this recipe a few times to adjust for your own oven temperature and baking time. Happy Baking!

Find this complete recipe plus 100 other recipes in my new cookbook!

Click here to order Taste Portugal cookbook!

Makes 18 – 24 depending on size of your tins


1 lb – Defrosted Puff Pastry Dough – *Note: Your local bakery may sell it, or buy: (Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Dough

2 cups whole milk (must be whole milk not low fat or skim)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup water

2 slices lemon rind

1 stick cinnamon

7  X Large egg yolks (room temp)

Cinnamon for garnish






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