Natas Caseiras
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Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 12
 
Want a taste of Belém at home? Try this recipe for Natas Caseiras. They won't be the same, none are, but they will be deliciously worth it until your trip back to Belém.
Ingredients
  • 1 17 ¼ ounce Package of Frozen Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm Brand- Thawed)
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • Grated Zest of ½ a Lemon
  • 1 ¾ cups of Heavy Cream
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 8 Large Egg Yolks
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Confectioner’s Sugar (for dusting)
  • Ground Cinnamon (for sprinkling)
Instructions
  1. Flour your work surface and lay down thawed puff pastry. Place it so that the short end is facing you and the thicker fold is on your left. Open the two panels of dough, lightly brush the right panel on both sides with water, and fold it back into position. Cover with the left panel and press down to seal. Lightly brush the top of the pastry with water, then curl up the short edge and roll up the pastry away from you and create a tight spiral (think jelly roll). You should have a 3-inch wide log. Roll it back and forth on the work surface until it is 3 ½ - inches wide. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate the logs.
  2. Whisk flour, salt, zest, and ½ cup of the cream in a medium bowl until all the lumps are dissolved. Set aside.
  3. Beat egg and yolks together, in a separate bowl, and set aside.
  4. Bring the sugar and ⅔ cups water to boil in a small saucepan over high heat without stirring. Let it bubble until you dip a spoon into the liquid and it runs thinly, creating a spider-web pattern in the syrup in saucepan- registers 230F on candy thermometer.
  5. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 ¼ cups of cream in a medium saucepan over medium0high heat until wisps of steam and bubble appear around the edges, about 5 minutes.
  6. Whisk hot cream into the flour mixture until smooth, then pour in the hot sugar syrup. Slowly add egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the custard back into the medium saucepan and cook over low heat, lightly whisking, until the mixture coasts the back of a spoon and registers 170F on a candy thermometer -4 minutes. Pour into bowl, add vanilla and let cool completely.
  7. Get the dough logs, and using a serrated knife (it is easier with one) trim off the uneven ends of one dough log. Do not discard. Cut twelve ¼ inch slices from the log. Working with one slice at a time, with your fingers stretch it until it is about 3 ½ inches wide and fit into muffin tin. Press up the bottom and sides, creating about ⅛ inch excess above pan. (Use excess dough on tart shells with thin spots. You want the bottom of the shell to be a bit thicker than the sides) Repeat with other slices, and then second log. Prick fitted shells well with a fork and return to refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  8. Position rack in the middle of the oven - temperature at 400 F.
  9. Fill tart shells to the top with dried beans or pie weights. Slip tins into oven and bake until dough is puffed and golden (about 15 minutes). Allow pastry cups to cool completely, but leave the oven on.
  10. Empty tart shells. Fill each shell ⅔ of the way full with completely cooled custard. Bake until custard barely jiggles in the middle, about 12 minutes (don’t worry it will continue cooking a bit once you take them out).
  11. Allow tins to cool a few minutes before removing natas to cool. When warm dust with confectioners sugar and cinnamon.
Notes
This recipe makes about 24 natas - so two for each person. That is a conservative number since most people will eat about 3! This is due to their bite sized deliciousness. Make the recipe according to how many guests you will have enjoying these sweet Portuguese treats.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at https://honestcooking.com/portuguese-natas-caseiras/