Easy Portuguese Pastries
These Easy Portuguese pastries are just like store bought. Ready in one hour, you won’t be able to resist eating them all. I now understand why my older daughter has always gone gaga over store bought Portuguese pastry tarts.
Nevertheless, I made these the other day as dessert for our family Christmas Eve dinner. And what a hit!
Oh, and by the way, they won’t take that long to make, I’m a fan of taking short cuts when necessary – I got you covered.
Tips and Tricks to Making these Easy Portuguese Pastries
Using Puff Pastry
Keeping with the tradition of cutting corners, know that I did not make my own puff pastry. Yes, you heard me right. And you shouldn’t either. Especially, if you want to make these easy custard tarts. You’ll find puff pastry in your grocer’s freezer section in the pastry area. I used this puff pastry here, but any prepared puff pastry will do.
You will need to thaw out the puff pastry. Follow the package instructions. You will need two sheets for these custard tarts.
Have everything ready before you start working with the puff pastry. If the puff pastry is sitting out to long, pop it back in the fridge, until the oven is ready or you are ready to get started.
Once you have the puff pastry rolled out, you will need to brush it with butter to one inch of the edges. Then role it back up from the long edge. You’ll then need to cut 1 inch slices and press them down into a muffin tray, ensuring that you spread the puffy pastry up the sides of the muffin wall.Pi
Custard vs. Pudding
Custards are cream or milk based and are typically stiffer than a pudding. Custards generally need to be baked in a water bath, otherwise it will scorch and crack. Custard uses eggs as a thickener, where pudding will use an ingredient like flour or cornstarch to thicken it. Pudding doesn’t need to be cooked, but it may need to be warmed up in order to thicken it to a pudding consistency.
Now, I did make my own custard. Yup! Just follow the instructions for making the custard and you’ll be fine. Custard is very simple to make and it’s delicious. You cannot substitute pudding for these easy Portuguese pastries.
However, if you wanted, you could cheat and buy instant custard. Unfortunately, I’ve never used instant custard yet, so I can’t recommend an instant powder yet. But, when I do, I ‘ll update this post to include my recommendation for using an instant custard powder.
UPDATE: I tried Birds Custard, it looks like this here. The custard was made in less than 10 minutes. If I had a choice between instant custard and real custard, I would definitely choose real homemade custard and make it myself.
Note that if you do decide to use instant custard, these easy Portuguese tarts will be made with less than 4 ingredients and your custard will be made lickaty split. That’s a win – win! Just don’t forget to add vanilla extract to your instant custard, otherwise they will be really bland.
I can’t really say whether this dessert freezes well. But chances are that you won’t have to freeze them because they will be all gone. Keep the uneaten custard tarts stored in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Take them out when you are ready to eat them.
For a professional finish, sprinkle the custard tarts with icing sugar before you serve them to your family or friends.
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Recipe Details for these Homemade Portuguese Pastries
- You will need 2 muffin trays, preferably non stick. If you don't have non stick trays, grease them so that they are ready.
- Unroll the puff pastry and lightly brush them with butter to one inch of the edges. Roll them back up, wrap them in plastic wrap and place in fridge while you make the custard. Preheat oven to 500°F degrees. custard
- Boil the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside Begin to make custard by heating up half of the milk (`1/2 cup, 3 tbsp.) until it begins to steam but not boil, add vanilla extract.
- Mix the flour with the remaining milk, add the warm milk a little at a time whisking during additions. Add the water and sugar mixture a little at a time while whisking during additions. Return mixture to the saucepan and continue stirring on the stove top until thickened. Add eggs yolks to mixture one at a time until well combined. Strain if necessary. Set aside Baking the Shells & Assembly
- Remove the puff pastry from the fridge and trim each edge. Then begin to cut 1 inch slices. Take each slice and press it into the muffin tin and up sides all the way or as far as you can. Make sure that the pastry doesn't have any gaps after you stretch it. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.
- Fill each shell to just below the rim with the custard mixture. The custard will boil and expand as it cooks, so you will need a little bit of space or it will boil over the shell. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the shells and custard surface are golden.