Portuguese Custard Tarts/ Pastéis de Belém

Desserts, Sweets, Snacks

courtesy Virginia’s Portuguese Sweets



2 1/2 cups (good quality) flour
16 tablespoons (good quality) frozen butter
8 tablespoons chilled water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt


1/4 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Dough: Place the butter in the freezer overnight.

Mix flour and salt in KitchenAid mixer bowl and grate the frozen butter on the flour. Add chilled water and lemon juice. (I usually use my KitchenAid hook to knead the dough.) Let it knead until the dough forms. Do not add more water; just wait till the dough forms and the sides and bottom of the bowl are clean. Form the dough in a ball, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough about 1 inch thick and then make a bill roll. Cut the roll into pieces 1 1/2 inches thick. Grease cupcake pans with butter and cover them with pieces of dough. Poke the bottom with the tines of a fork and refrigerate the cupcake pan for a few minutes to let the dough relax.

Preheat oven to 475 for 20 to 30 minutes.

Custard: Whisk condensed milk, sugar, yolks, milk and corn flour till smooth. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture steams. Add vanilla extract and let the mixture cool.

Remove cupcake pans from refrigerator and fill halfway with custard mixture. Place the cupcake pan in the preheated oven for 17 to 20 minutes until the top starts to brown. Remove from the oven,cool for 5 minutes, and remove from the pan.

Tip: Best enjoyed right from the oven or a few hours after.