Pasteis de Nata – Portuguese Egg Custard tart. Delicious!! We devoured tens of these small, to die for tarts!
The tart has an interesting history! Yup, most iconic / famous foods do!
The original recipe for Pasteis de Nata was invented by two Catholic sisters in the convent at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos & called Pasteis de Belem, and has been heavily guarded since.
Around 1837, clerics from the monetary, set up Casa Pastéis de Belém, the first shop to sell the pasteis, in order to raise money for the monastery. Today, these are generally known as Pasteis de Nata, and only the original Pasteis de Belem carry the name. The original shop also remains standing today and the Pasteis de Belem are still said to be the best.
It is said that the recipe for the egg custard for Pasteis de Belem is a heavily guarded secret known only to the Master Pastercook. The custard is prepared in a secret room by the Master Pastercook and then given to the other works to fill in the pastry shells!