The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 8 Challenges.
Total Cooking Time: 3 hours
The Great British Bake Off is a classic show for bakers and those looking for a friendly competition. All the bakes on the show look delicious and I often want to try baking them myself! I finally got off the couch and into the kitchen to recreate some of the recipes from Bake Off! I chose to start with season eight of Bake Off as it is my favorite season and the one with some of my favorite challenges!
The Week Six technical is the most intimating challenge that I have faced to date: Pastéis de Nata. This is effectively a pastry tart filled with custard. It doesn’t seem intimidating, but the pastry was originally a puff pastry. Which is something I have never tried before because of the amount of work that goes into make a puff pastry.
Luckily, the recipe that Paul Hollywood uses is a rough puff pastry. This means that I got to grate the frozen butter instead of pounding it out into a large slab. While it’s a daunting process, the best way to conquer those fears is to jump right in!
This post covers the rough puff pastry recipe for Pastéis de Nata, check out the post for the lemon and cinnamon custard for the filling!
The ingredients for a rough puff pastry just consist of flour and butter. It’s pretty similar to the pastry that I made last week for the Signature challenge. One unique quirk of this recipe is the use of frozen butter. This helps to give the rough puff pastry that classic flakey appearance.
Making the Dough
Making the dough was the simplest step of this whole process. First, I quickly whisked the flour and salt together and then I added diced cubes of chilled butter. To get this to a breadcrumb like texture, I used my hands to rub the butter into the flour.
I wanted everything to come out like a crumble. Crumbling butter into flour always feels a little strange to my hands but I am not a stranger to dough, so I was ready for this. This process takes a moment so be prepared to do a very repetitive motion with your hands.
The last step is gradually adding the chilled water into flour/butter mixture. You might not need to use all the water depending on how humid your surrounds are. Gradually is the key work for this step. The water will bring the dough into its final form.
Folding and Chilling
This is the longest and most tedious step. I rolled out the dough into a rectangle over a lightly floured surface. The floured surface helps prevent the dough from sticking to things I don’t want it to stick to stick to. Then, I took half of my frozen butter and grated it over two thirds of the pastry rectangle.
I folded the uncovered third over the center and then folded the other third over the center as well. Then, I rolled the dough back out into a rectangle, turned it ninety degrees, and grated the remaining butter over two-thirds of the pastry. I did my letter fold once again, gave it a quick roll, wrapped it, and then put it in the fridge.
This process helps build up the layer of the pastry to get that flakey outcome. After the dough is finished chilling, I rolled it out again into a rectangle and did the letter fold. Then it was time to chill again. And I repeated the process one more time!
Prepping the Pastry
Now, I had a solid dough to work with. There are so many layers! I rolled out the dough one last time and attempted to make a rectangle that was 20 cm by 30 cm. Then, with my hands along the 20 cm or short side, I rolled the pastry into a tight log. I cut the log into 12 parts to make 12 discs for the 12 final tarts!
This is where I needed a cupcake tin. Use my fingers, I gently pushed the pastry dough out from the center to spread it around the edge of the cupcake tin. This step creates a cup for the custard to live. Once I finished spreading out all 12 discs, I place the cupcake tin into the fridge to chill.
While all this chilling was happening, I was also working on making my custard. I used a lemon and cinnamon infused custard, just like they did in bake off. And I needed the custard to be cool by the time the pastry came out of the fridge for the last time.
I gently spooned the custard into the pastry cases leaving a bit of room at the top. I expected the custard would grow in the oven.
The last step of this process is to bake. The pastry must bake at a high heat to get that perfect golden-brown color without being overcooked. The custard will end up bubbling during this step and some dark spots will appear.
This is totally normal for a Pastéis de Nata so don’t panic if you see this happening. It took constant reminders to myself that the tart isn’t burning! Now all that’s left is to let them cool and enjoy them!!
I really enjoyed making these Pastéis de Nata. They were really low energy to make and they turned out deliciously. Before doing this process, I was very intimated about making a rough puff pastry. And it turned out beautifully!!
Am I ready for bake-off? I feel like this one of my better bakes. I know I didn’t get the pastry all the way up the sides of the tin but they still turned out amazing. I love the flavor of the custard mixed with the flakiness of the pastry.
What is Pastéis de Nata?
Good Question! I had no idea before this challenge, so I did a little research about the origin of this tart. Pastéis de Nata is a dish that originate in Portugal and is generally considered to be an egg custard tart pastry. Pastéis de Nata was originally created by Religious of the Monastery of the Hieronymites.
The English translation for Pastéis de Nata is “cream pastries”. This dish is typically made from puff pastry and has cinnamon incorporates somewhere into the dish.
Pasteis de Nata
- 1 non-stick cupcake tray
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter chilled and diced
- ¼ to ⅓ Cup Water chilled
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter frozen
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Rub inthe chilled butter until the mixture resemble breadcrumbs
- Gradually add the about 4-6 tablespoons of the chilled water to form a dough.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured work surface
- Grate half of the frozen butter over the bottom two thirds of the dough.
- Fold down the top third of the dough and fold up the bottom third (as if folding a letter).
- Turn the folded dough 90 degrees and roll it out into a rectangle again. Grate the remaining butter over the bottom two thirds of the dough.
- Fold down the top third of the dough and fold up the bottom third.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes
- Roll out the pastry into a rectangle and fold down the top third of the dough and then fold up the bottom third. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Repeat the last step.
- Roll out the pasty on a lightly flouredsurface to a rectangle measuring about 20 by 30 cm. From the short side (20 cm) roll up the pastry tightly into a log and cut into 12 equal discs.
- Place 1 disc into the cup of a cupcaketin, swirl side up. Using wet fingers, gently press the pastry up the side of the tin working from the center outwards until the pastry just pokes over the top. Repeat for all the pastry discs.
- Chill for 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 475°F. Pour the lemon and cinnamon custard into the pastry cases, leaving a gap at the top.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. The custard should be bubbling with tiny brown spots.
- Let the tarts cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.