Friday 2 January 2009

The Portuguese Pastry Quest

No, I haven't done the layout I promised I would do today - Yet! But I have been busy baking.
My sister owns a house in Portugal and about 3 doors down is an old fashioned typical Portuguese bakery. The kind where the local people congregate for a coffee at the counter while their bread and pastries are wrapped. The kind of place where the cakes are sublime and there is nothing better than the taste of their chocolate croissants, warm from the oven, eaten with freshly brewed coffee, sitting on the terrace in the early morning sun. I digress. In this bakery - and countless others up and down the Algarve - they sell Pasteis de Nata. The Portuguese version on an egg custard tart I guess. But these just taste amazing, and the pastry is quite unlike any that I have made from any recipe book. The search is on for an authentic recipe and today I tried a new one. This one from a book of Portuguese recipes so I was optimistic! Here is a photo of my finished vanilla pastries - but sadly, whilst they tasted lovely and the vanilla custard is absolutely spot on - I still haven't managed to get the delicious flakiness of the authentic pastry. The search continues ...

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