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For the pastry dough:
For the custard:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, salt and water for about 30 seconds until the mixture forms a soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Generously dust a work surface with flour. Pat the dough into a square around 15cm wide. Dust the dough with flour, then wrap in cling film. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a square about 45cm in width. Brush excess flour off the top of the dough and trim any uneven edges. Gently spread 70g of the butter over the right two-thirds of the dough, leaving a 2cm border around the edge of the dough.
- Neatly fold the unbuttered left one-third section of dough (using the pastry scraper to loosen it if it sticks) over the centre of the dough.
- Brush off any excess flour, then fold over the right one-third of the dough.
- Starting from the top, pat down the dough with your hand to release any air bubbles, then pinch the edges of the dough to seal. Brush off any excess flour. Turn the dough 90° to the left so the fold is facing you. Lift the dough and flour the work surface.Once again, roll the dough out to a 45cm square, then repeat steps 4 and 5 using another 70g butter.
- Roll out the dough to a 45 x 55cm rectangle. Spread the remaining butter over the entire surface of the dough.
- Turn the dough so that a shorter side is facing you.
- Carefully lift the edge of dough closest to you and roll away from you into a tight log, brushing the excess flour from the underside as you go. Trim the ends and cut the log in half.
- Wrap each piece in cling film and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
- In a large jug or bowl, whisk the flour and 60ml of the milk together until the mixture is smooth.
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and cinnamon to a boil and cook without stirring until an instant-read thermometer registers 100°C.
- Meanwhile, in a second small saucepan, heat the remaining 240ml milk just until bubbles begin to appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and whisk the hot milk into the flour mixture until smooth. Remove the cinnamon stick from the syrup, then pour into the hot milk and flour mixture in a thin stream, whisking briskly.
- Add the vanilla and stir for a minute until very warm but not hot. Whisk in the egg yolks, then strain the thin custard into a bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside and allow to cool.
- Place a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 240 ̊C/220 ̊C fan/gas mark 9. Remove one of the pastry logs from the fridge and roll it back and forth on a lightly floured surface until roughly 2cm in diameter and 40cm long. Chop into 11⁄2cm pieces.
- Place one piece of pastry in each well of a nonstick mini-muffin tin, cut side down. Allow the dough pieces to soften several minutes until pliable. Dip your thumb in a cup of water, then push it straight down into the centre of one of the dough spirals. Flatten it against the bottom of the cup until only 2mm thick, then smooth the dough up the sides and create a raised lip about 4mm above the tin. The pastry bottom should be thinner than the top. Repeat with the remaining spirals.
- Fill each cup about three-quarters of the way with the custard. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges of the dough are brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool until just barely warm. Sprinkle generously with icing sugar and cinnamon. Use the remaining pastry and custard to make a second batch. The pastéis de nata are best consumed the day they’re made, but the pastry and custard will keep separately in the fridge for up to three days.
Per serving: 119kcals, 6.2g fat (3.7g saturated), 14.9g carbs (8.8g sugars), 1.6g protein, 0.3g fibre, 0.054g sodium
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