Portugal’s most beloved pastry


Whenever my friends visit me in Portugal, its only a matter of hours until they request a trip to a bakery for a pastel de nata. An egg custard set in a puff pastry shell and dusted with cinnamon and confectioners sugar, these tarts combine the smooth comfort of flan with the crunch of baklava. 

Pasteis de nata are available in almost every bakery and snack bar in Portugal. But the most famous are found in Belem, an historic neighborhood in Southwestern Lisbon. According to legend, the pastries were invented before the 18th Century by Catholic monks at the Jeronimos Monastery. When the monastery was forced to close in the 1820s, the monks sold the closely guarded recipe to the nearby bakery.

Today, that bakery–Casa Pasteis de Belem–sells the tarts warm from the oven to the eager crowds who gather there each day. Their particular recipe is still a secret, but if you would like to try to make these special treats on your own, there are no shortage of recipes online, including this example from allrecipes.com.

1 Response to “Portugal’s most beloved pastry”

  1. 1 tada!shop September 30, 2009 at 1:12 am

    this looks delicious, don’t know if i can replicate but will try! thank you for sharing!

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