"I have always adored pastel de natas, I can never resist going into a nata shop. So during lockdown, unable to get my fix, I tried my hand at making my own! This recipe is an Orange & Thyme flavoured custard with oozing chocolate chunks at the bottom. Such a delicious treat and an impressive bake if you’re trying to show off a little."
(Makes 12 natas)
- 1 pack ready made puff pastry
- 3 tbsp flour
- 260ml whole milk
- 240g caster sugar
- 160ml water
- Rind of 1/2 orange 🍊
- 3-4 springs of fresh thyme
- 6 egg yolks (save the whites for meringue!)
- 80g Orange & Thyme Dark Chocolate
- Start by unrolling your puff pastry from the packet and then roll it into a sausage shape very tightly. This will give the signature spiral bottom of the natas. Pop in the freezer while you prepare the custard.
- For the custard: Start by placing the sugar, water, thyme and orange zest in a small pan. We’re going to heat this until it reaches 100 degrees, if you don’t have a thermometer then allow it just boil and the sugar should all be dissolved then take off the heat.
- Whisk 3 tbsp flour with a little of the milk to make a paste and heat the rest of the milk until just before boiling.
- Add the hot milk to the flour paste, followed by the sugar syrup.
- Finally, whisk in the egg yolks and pour through a fine sieve to remove any lumps/thyme leaves and cover with cling film to stop a skin forming.
- Retrieve your pastry from the freezer and cut into 12 slices (they will be thick) and place one in each well of the muffin tin. Using slightly wet fingers and thumbs, flatten each of the disks of pastry and work up the sides of muffin tin to create your nata shape
- Place a few chopped pieces of chocolate into each tart and pour custard over the top. You don’t want to fill them right to the brim, just about 3/4 full
- Bake as hot as your oven will go (ideally around 220-250) for 15 minutes until they are still slightly wobbly in the middle but caramelised on top. Allow to cool a little but they are best enjoyed warm
This recipe is thanks to Tiggy, a trained chef now cooking at home and focusing on healthy, seasonal and organic produce to make vegetarian meals and delicious sweet treats. You can find more on Instagram @tiggys.kitchen.