One of the things I absolutely adored was Pastel de Nata, a Portuguese egg custard tart found in Brazil and other areas where there was a large number of Portuguese immigrants. I wasn’t sure a vegan version would ever match the wonderfully creamy set custard made with eggs and cream and this is one time I have to hold my hands up and say it’s not quite the same. That said, even an ok custard tart is better than no custard tart!
Using powdered custard mix like this will likely illicit an eye-roll from naysayers, but the thick custard it produces translates well for this recipe. You could use an egg replacement powder like Vegan Egg from Follow Your Heart but a tin of Bird’s is likely to be way cheaper.
Using very few ingredients and with a simple technique for the pastry case, these custard tarts are bound to impress your friends. The fact that the ingredients are all accidentally vegan and readily available is also a plus point. I can only hope one day I find a vegan version in a patisserie as good as the ones I had in Brazil!
Vegan Pastel de Nata (Custard Tarts)
2 tbsp Bird’s custard powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 packet of puff pastry (I used Jus-Rol)
1 pint of plant milk (I used Oatly for its creaminess)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp cornflour
Oil to grease tin
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Start by making the custard as per the instructions on the tub, substituting the dairy for plant milk. Mix the custard powder and sugar in a bowl then add a couple of tablespoons of the plant milk to form a paste.
- Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Just before it boils pour the milk in the bowl containing the custard powder and sugar and stir well until smooth and lump free.
- Pour the mixture back in the saucepan over a low heat.
- Put the cornflour into a small cup and add in a few drops of water. Mix until it forms a thick paste.
- Pour the cornflour paste into the pan containing the custard and allow the mixture to thicken. Make sure you stir continuously while it thickens to avoid lumpy custard.
- Pour the custard into a bowl and, once cooled, put in the fridge.
- To make the tart cases – Grease the muffin tin with oil.
- Roll out the pastry flat and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Tightly roll in the long side in to form a long sausage roll type wrap. Cut into even size pieces.
Stand each roll up in the muffin tin and flatten them by pressing with your fingers to make little baskets.
- Cook the pastry cases for 15 mins in a medium oven. This is to blind bake the pastry to prevent a soggy bottom.
- Add the custard and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Once cooled sieve with icing sugar and cinnamon.
Thanks for reading,