If you’ve ever been to Portugal and you love sweets, then it’s safe to say you would have tried a Pastel de Nata at least once during your time there!
This flaky custardy pastry tart is a Portuguese tradition. They can even be found in some parts of South America! They are made with a crisp buttery pastry case, are filled with a creamy custard centre and are charred to perfection on top. Don’t be mistaken to believe that these are just some regular run of the mill custard tart because that name simply doesn’t do these beauties justice!
The original Pastel de Nata, which translates to ‘cream pastry’ is said to have been created by the monks of Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon where they were sold in an attempt to fund the survival of the Monastery in the 1820s. Nowadays they can be found in just about any cafe or bakery in Portugal.
We’d booked an apartment for a few days there and our host met us in the main square to show us the way. We chatted as we wound our way through what felt like a maze of cobbled streets, past bars, cafes and restaurants. As he made recommendations of places to eat I asked him where I could buy a genuine Pastel de Nata. I’d read about them back home when researching Portugal – I always like to suss out local treats! He told me you could buy them everywhere but there was a good place along the water called Pastelaria Algarve.