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HOW TO MAKE Pastéis de Nata

Tastes from Belém, Portugal
Recipe:  Linda de Abreu

Today we not only share the recipe, but we also take you to Belém, the birthplace of our irresistible Portuguese custards tarts.

This is one of those delicacies that you buy at the end of your holiday to take home so your friends and family can share in the deliciousness and confectionery perfection.

Portuguese recipe

Total Time: 60 mins

Course: Pastries and sweets, Desserts

Cuisine: Portuguese


How to make Pasteis de nata


  • 2 packs Puff pastry
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 4 tsp Corn flour
  • 360 ml Cream
  • 3 Strips lemon rind
  • 10 cm Cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract


  1. Spray the muffin tray with Spray & Cook, or butter it well.
  2. The pastry must be well thawed.
  3. To make 12 tarts, you need two layers of flat sheets of puff pastry.
  4. Put the two sheets on top of each other.
  5. Roll the pastry into a cigar.
  6. Slice the rolled pastry into 12 equal parts.
  7. Roll each part into a ball and press it into the muffin tray. (The pastry will shrink when cooked, so ensure it’s reaching just beyond the tip.)
  8. Mix the balance of the ingredients to make the custard.
  9. Pour the well-mixed mixture into a pot over moderate stove heat, whisking continuously.
  10. When the mixture becomes thicker and bubbles form, remove it from the heat and continue whisking until it is a thick custard.
  11. Remove the cinnamon stick and the rind from the custard.
  12. Spoon the custard into the pastry.
  13. Baking time is between 16 and 20 minutes at 220 degrees Celcius.
  14. Allow it to cool off once taken from the oven.

Origin of Pastéis de Nata

Pastéis de Nata was originally known as Pastéis de BelémAn English version of the name is Portuguese custard tarts

Pastéis de Nata is known as one of the seven wonders of Portuguese cuisine! Subsequently, the Portuguese custard tarts are probably Portugal’s most popular pastry, and most famous.

There is a beautiful narrative associated with Pastéis de Nata.

Way back in history, as in the early 14th century, there were many seafarers in transit. It was also a time when the nuns and monks needed to supplement their income to survive. The Monks of the military-religious Order of Christ lived in a church on the same premises in Belém. So, they decided to make a variety of desserts. They came up with plenty of monastic recipes, of which Pastéis de Nata / Portuguese custard tarts was one. The original name Pastéis de Belém was after the name of the region where they lived.

The mouth-watering pastries were provided to the seafarers. 

Soon, Pastéis de Nata / Portuguese custard tarts grew in popularity and were sought after. Subsequently, the recipe was passed on through generations. Today, it is known across the world.


We’re in Belém, Lisbon, Portugal!

FAMOUS ATTRACTION: Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

You can't leave Lisbon without popping in at Pastéis de Belém. Photo Credit: Pastéis de Belém, Rua de Belém nº 84 to 92, 1300 - 085 Lisbon, Portugal.

Home to the original Pastéis de Nata / Portuguese custard tarts

Today you can go into the original patisserie, still in operation. Or you can visit their website. Pastéis de Belém sits adjacent to the old monastery at Rua de Belém nº 84 to 92, 1300 – 085 Lisbon, Portugal.

It’s more than just a patisserie. Allow sufficient time to spend an hour or two to sit down at any one of the beautiful table settings, and take it all in. Enjoy the moment.

Belem Lisbon Portugal love to travel beautiful places water tower harbor port coastal towns in Portugal

Explore the rest of the Belém district in Lisbon

Other attractions

  • Afonso de Albuquerque Square
  • Belém Lighthouse
  • Bordalo II’s Big Raccoon Sculpture
  • Capela de Sao Jeronimo
  • D. Nuno Alvares Pereira Sculpture
  • Jardim Botanico Tropical
  • Maritime museum
  • Museu Nacional dos Coches
  • Sala Thai
  • Travessa da Ermida

Distance from Lisbon to Belém

If you are in Lisbon, there is not much distance between you and scrumptious Pastéis de Nata / Portuguese custard tarts! Getting it anywhere in the world is simply not the same as enjoying it right there. Namely, at the actual location where it all started.

Belém sits only 5km to the west of central Lisbon. Hop on the number 15 tram from Praça do Comércio. Fifteen minutes later you’ll be in Belém.

Due to Belém being so close to Lisbon city, you might as well stay in Lisbon itself. 

Where to stay

This is Travel and Home’s top five places to stay in the city center of Lisbon. Either way, you can’t go wrong.