Portugal!

On Tuesdays I will be exploring a new location to satisfy my wanderlust while my feet remain firmly planted on Canadian soil. I’m so excited! I hope you’ll join me in these new adventures.

It’s been way too long since my taste buds have taken a trip. And since I’m currently on a staycation of my own this week, my mind has had lots of time to wander to all those places I have yet to discover.

There is nothing wrong with the backyard pool and some reading time in the hammock, but imagine travelling to Portugal?

I’ve always been intrigued by that place tucked on the west side of Spain that people often don’t make the time to check out on their European tours. Funny, because I hear amazing things about their pilgrim trail, their food, their wine and port…

And their TARTS!

They are actually called pastel de nata and are an egg custard tart. Even if you haven’t travelled to Portugal, you’ve probably tried one of these sweet delights if you live in Canada, the U.S., Australia, France and other countries with large populations of Portuguese immigrants. Here in Toronto, they are quite easy to find and are deceptively easy to make too.

Those one-of-a-kind crispy, flaky shells are actually just puff pastry (store-bought) twisted and layered into tart cups or in this case, muffin tins. The filling is egg custard, also much easier than you think.

In fact, this is a recipe that could absolutely be pulled off by a relative baking newby and with amazingly professional results.

While your store-bought puff pastry is defrosting on the counter, you can whip up the simple lemon vanilla syrup and then move on to the eggy custard, made so easy that the hardest part is whisking the thickening mixture over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. No straining, no double boiler, just added to one pot and mixed until thickened.

Wait a minute–I think I know what the hardest part about these tarts is–waiting until their done to eat them!

Yes, Portugal is on my travel list, but in the meantime, it`s back to the kitchen for me to whip up the next batch of these tarts, that will at least give my taste buds the thrill of adventure. Until next time, happy eating!

Portuguese-style Custard Tarts

Donna Hay magazine, Issue 62

Image from Mrs. Dalrymple

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