Legendary Dishes | Pastéis de Belém / Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts)


The original recipe for the pastels of Belém – originating from the Jerónimos Monastery, located in the area of Belém – is a secret well kept by the pastry masters of Pastéis de Belém, manufactured in the present premises since 1837 and baked according to the secret recipe of the monastery.

All others are different.

Annually the contest for the best pastel de nata is held, to evaluate this popular specialty.

This is believed to be the original Belém pastel.


  • 360 g butter / margarine
  • 250 g white wheat flour
  • 45 ml water
  • Salt, large pinch

Mix the flour with salt and water, beat into a loose mass.

With some flour, roll the dough out thin.

With a brush, spread a thin layer of butter or margarine over the dough.

Fold the dough and roll out again. Add another layer of fat, fold again.

Repeat twice more.

Reserve the dough.


  • 150 ml sugar syrup
  • 500 ml milk
  • 9 egg yolks

Combine the sugar and egg yolks in a pot.

In a separate pot, bring the milk to a boil.

Add a few tablespoons of the milk to the sugar and egg mixture, stir.

Gradually add remaining milk a little at a time, stirring untli the mixture thickens.

Reserve the cream.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 1 centimetre. Cut rounds a little larger than your cups.

Place the rounds in the cups, fill with a spoonful of the thickened cream.

Bake at 290°C until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Serve dusted with cinnamon.