Friday, March 25, 2011

Pastéis de Nata - Portuguese Egg Tarts

Pastéis de Nata  

Portuguese Egg Tarts

These Portuguese creamy tarts are very well known worldwide, it might have its origins in Lisbon at the Jerónimos Monastery, a creation from the nuns in the 18th century. The Monastery is located in Belém and it was the Casa dos Pastéis de Belém the first place outside the convent to sell them. The monastery was closed during early 19 century and this famous bakery has been baking and selling them since then.

The recipe is a secret very well locked and every baker who is recruited has to sign a confidentiality agreement in which he/she agrees do not disclose the recipe under no circumstances. Just them can sell the egg tars under the name of “Pastéis de Belém”, otherwise they are called PASTÉIS DE NATA.

Here you have my version of these Yummy tarts, I hope you like them:

Pastéis de Nata

"Portuguese Egg Tarts"

Ingredients: Pastry
-       2 Sheets     Frozen Puff Pastry
-    Butter, melted as needed for molds

Ingredients: Custard (Filling)
-          250g           granulated sugar
-          10               egg yolks
-          500ml         cream
-          ¼   tbsp      salt
-          ¼    tbsp     vanilla extract (optional)
-          1    TBSP    flour
-          ½  tsp         lemon zest
Optional: Powder sugar and cinnamon
1.       Defrost the sheets until they can just be unfolded.
2.       Cut the sheets in 3 pieces, stack them and cut longitudinally into 1 cm wide. Roll then each strip to form a spiral. In a floured surface, press the spiral with a rolling pin or your hand to make a flat round.
3.       Grease de molds with melted butter and place a round of pastry pressing down with your fingers. It should almost fill the mold leaving just a rim of about 4mm without pastry.
4.       Put the molds in a tray and keep them in the refrigerator or keep in a cold place.
5.       Mix the sugar, egg yolks, flour, lemon zest, salt, vanilla (if using) and cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring continuously until boiling.
6.       Let the mixture cool down a little bit whisking it from time to time.
7.       Fill then the pastry molds with about 2 TBSP of custard.
8.       Bake in a very hot pre-heated oven until cooked (10 to15 minutes).
9.       Let them cool down a bit inside de molds and then transfer to a wire rack.
10. Can be served at room temperature or warm and dusted with sugar and/or cinnamon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recipe of the Month

When I opened this page it was my intention to start blogging on a regular basis, as you can see it wasn´t possible.

I may not use it for daily entries but instead, it will be where I´ll post and share some of my Favorite Recipes.  I hope you like them.

For this month of March, I´ve chosen  Saffron Flavored Shrimps and Mashed Potatoes

Fill free to use with another seafood.

Individual Portion

  “Saffron Infused Creamy Shrimps”

1Kg                  Prawns or shrimp, small
1 kg                  Potatoes
3                      egg yolks
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp                nutmeg
2 TBSP             butter
1 TBSP             butter, melted, extra
1                      onion, small
1 cup                white wine
250ml               cream
pinch saffron or food coloring (saffron based)
2                      Tomatoes, ripe
2TBSP              parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
1.       Cook peeled potatoes in boiling water. Drain well.
2.       Mash the potatoes with a food mill; add egg yolks, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well (if too dry add 1 or 2 TBSP of milk)
3.       With a spoon put some mashed potatoes around your baking dish (center should be empty) put remaining mashed potatoes in a piping bag and pipe decorative borders around the oven proof dish on top of previous spooned potatoes.
4.        Brush with extra butter (or egg wash) and bake in 350º F oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
5.       Shrimp filling: Melt butter in a pan, add fine chopped onion, and cook until tender.
6.       Add wine and bring to a boil.
7.       Add the shrimp, bring to a boil and remove from the pan after 2 ~3 minutes, according to the size of the shrimp.
8.       Boil the wine mixture until reduced by two-thirds, add cream and reduce by half.
9.       Add saffron or food coloring, season with salt and pepper.
10.   Add the tomatoes peeled and cut in quarters, add the shrimp and stir over low heat until the mixture is hot.
11.      Stir in parsley
12.      Spoon the shrimp filling into the center plate (s) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and it is ready to serve.
Can be prepared on individual dishes as well.