You will not find very many variations of the pastel de nata in Lisbon. Most pastelarias stick to the classic vanilla-cinnamon custard recipe. I am less traditional and wanted to try something new. I often drank port with my dessert in Lisbon. While I was sipping from my little glass one evening I was thinking that the fruity rich taste of the port would combine very well with the creamy custard. So for my variation of the classic pastel de nata I soaked a handful of raisins in port. To balance the strong taste of the raisins I sprinkled some cinnamon and lemon over the dough. I liked this spicy variation with the fat boozy raisins and am sure that they will go very well with a nice glass of port.
Pastel de nata with port raisins
for about 12 small pastels
140 grams puff pastry cut into 3 pieces of 12×12 cm (5×5 inches)*
½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder + extra for dusting
grated rind of 1 (organic) lemon
35 grams raisins
30 milliliter tawny port
20 grams flour
225 milliliter whipping cream
140 grams sugar
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
butter for greasing
extra: mini muffin tins
Sprinkle the ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and the grated lemon rind over the puff pastry. Stack the pieces on top of each other and roll them up tight. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Put the rest of the grated rind in a small saucepan with the raisins and the port and leave to simmer over low heat for about 10 mins. or until the raisins have soaked up all the port. Leave to cool.
In a bowl whisk the flour with about 30 milliliters of the cream until smooth.
Heat the rest of the cream with the sugar and the cinnamon stick in a saucepan and leave to simmer on the lowest possible heat for about 15 mins.
Whisk the egg yolks slightly.
Take the cinnamon stick out of the cream and whisk into the flour-cream mixture. Leave to cool for a few minutes and whisk in the slightly beaten egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Scoop off the foam.
Preheat the oven to the highest setting. The oven should be as hot as possible.Grease the muffin tins. Cut the pastry roll in 12 thick slices. Press them flat into 10 cm (4 inch) disks. Press them into the muffin tins.
Pour the custard mixture into the shells and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 mins. Keep 12 raisins aside, divide the rest over the pastries and bake for another 10-20 mins. until done. Check regularly. A few nice dark caramelized spots should appear on the top.
Take out of the oven, garnish with the rest of the raisins and leave to cool a few minutes. Serve the pastel de nata with port raisins warm and dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.
*or make your own dough
(enough for a double batch)
130 grams of flour + extra for sprinkling
pinch of salt
100 milliliters water
125 grams very cold butter
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
grated rind of ½ (organic) lemon
Knead the flour with the salt and the water into a soft dough. Cover and leave to rest for about 20 mins.
Sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll out to 20×30 cm (8×11 inches).
Cut the butter into very thin slices.
Cover ⅔ of the dough with ⅓ of the butter and fold the unbuttered part to the middle of the buttered part. Then fold over the part with the butter still visible. Roll out again to 20×30 cm (8×11 inches) and repeat the process. Roll out the dough to 20×40 cm (8x16inches) cover with the rest of the butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon and the grated lemon rind over the butter and roll up from the shorter side. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for at least 2 hours.
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