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Why did I have to clean my oven?

Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts)
Well I had to clean my oven because I made these Pasteis de Nata. They were well worth the clean though. It all started because my eldest sent me a picture of them from Portugal (trying to make me jealous - which she succeeded). They looked so delicious that I had to look for a recipe to see how they were made.  You make your own puff pastry, let the dough chill, press the dough into cupcake tins, pour in the custard and bake.  That last baking part is what led to the dirty oven.  The dough was so buttery (which is what makes them so delicious), that it began to ooze out of the dough. Well you know once it starts oozing, it goes all over the bottom of the oven, then there is a LOT of smoke, and thoughts that the oven might be on fire, and then a whole big mess to clean up. Did I mention there was a lot of smoke. I mean a real lot of smoke! Would I do it all again?? HELL YES!
I did a raggedy rectangle roll out of about 21x18. You spread the butter on the left side and then...

you fold the dough in thirds like a letter (do you remember letters?)

After 3 "turns" of the dough, you roll the dough up

I did a few things different from the recipe. I didn't have whole milk for the custard.  I used 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c heavy cream instead. I used just skim milk to mix with the flour. I used regular size cupcake tins instead of the minis. Sorry I'm too greedy to go for those little minis in this case.  I also think that pushing the dough into those little tins would be tedious. I cut the dough into 20 pieces. Since I used the regular size cupcakes, I preheated the oven to 500 and then turned it down to 475 when I put the Pasteis de Nata in the oven.  They baked for about 15 minutes total. Now I didn't get those gorgeous little scorch marks on all of them, but that could be because of the lower heat I used. I turned the oven temperature down because I knew they would need to cook longer than the minis and was afraid that the high heat would've burned the bottoms as some others commented.
Pre-oven mess

Patience, Patience, waiting for them to cool

These were quite lovely custard tarts.  I now know why Lionel from As Time Goes By is always going on about those custard tarts and gets quite huffy when he thinks someone has eaten them all.  I would definitely get mad if someone ate my last custard tart. These would also be quite nice if you added a little lemon to them.


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