Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lisboa in your kitchen...

If you ever go to Portugal - lucky you - you will probably stop by Lisbon. What a beautiful city! I've been to Portugal several times in Summer when I was in my twenties and I absolutely loved it.

The Alfama in Lisbon.


- Because Portugal is a beautiful country, especially the North, and places like Porto (my favorite city in Portugal), Lisbon of course, Coimbra, Obidos and a nice little seaside town, Nazaré.
- Because Portuguese people are just adorable, genuinely kind and lovely.
- Because they have great poets like Fernando Pessoa, great film-makers like Manoel De Oliveira, great singers like Amalia Rodrigues (the "Portuguese Edith Piaf").
- Because they have a word that we don't have in French or in English and that I wish we had: saudade (like a single word for expressing both missing and melancholic nostalgia).
- Because they have the fado, which is a beautiful Portuguese kind of blues.
- Because they have pasteis de nata.

Pasteis de nata.
Ah pasteis de nata, my God, this pastry is so so good. Go to Lisbon and sit down at a pastelaria facing the Tejo and have one of these, you'll be in Heaven!

Now since we can't go to Portugal right away (can't we?), let's bring Portugal to our table and make pasteis de nata... (this if for my friends from Bohemian Life)

How to make Pasteis de nata

You will need:

readymade puff pastry
10 cl of crème fraîche (a kind of thick slightly sour cream that we love in France, it's part of our DNA)
40 cl of milk
100 g of powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
30 g of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 pinch of salt

Now let's go:

1. Preheat the oven (th. 8 which means hot!)
In a small pot, mix the milk, the cream, the sugar and the vanilla extract. Cook on a light heat and stir until all the ingredients blend together.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, the salt, and add little by little the mixture you've prepared on step 1. Mix well.

3. Grease the muffin pans with butter and cover them with the puff pastry. Cut the extra pastry with a knife (see picture).

4. Pour the mixture in the muffin pans and let them cook for about 20 minutes. Your pasteis de nata are cooked when they start to gently brown on the top (see picture below).

Serve your pasteis de nata warm with a pinch of cinnamon and icing sugar on top and enjoy!

My home-made pasteis de nata.

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