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Pastel de Nata & Arroz Doce - The most famous Portuguese desserts

Even if you never visited Portugal I'm sure you already heard about these two traditional desserts. Here are the recipes for Pasteis de Nata and Arroz Doce.

I am Portuguese and extremely proud of my country culinary culture. We truly have some of the best desserts in the world, so today I want to share with you the recipes for two of the most famous of them all.

These desserts are made a bit differently depending where you are from in Portugal but both are very common in a true Portuguese home.

Some countries also have variations of these recipes although I can never find one that taste exactly right, and since I don't live in Portugal anymore, I have contented myself with baking them at home.

Pasteis de Nata (egg tarts)

Pasteis de nata are everywhere in Portugal! The most famous ones, which I also consider the original ones, are Pasteis de Belém. They are sold near Mosteiro dos Geronimos in Belém, Lisbon.

I would say most Portuguese buy their pasteis de nata in a store because they are a lot of work to do and never get as good as the original ones. This is mainly because to make a true pastel you need an oven that goes to 400ºC.

But this won't stop us! Here is my recipe for, what I consider to be, the most Portuguese pasteis de nata you could possibly make yourself at home.


Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon peal

  • 7 egg yolks

  • 500g sugar (if you don't like things too sweet, use half of the amount)

  • 60g flour

  • 500 ml milk

  • 250 ml water

  1. You will need two pans. In one pan join the sugar and the water and let it melting in low heat.

  2. Pour the milk into the other pan, add the lemon peel and the flour. Whisk everything until it is very well mixed and then heat it up in medium heat for about 5 min.

  3. When your sugar is dissolved, and your milk looks thicker you can add the sugar syrup and stir it for a little while. Take this from the heat and let it cool down.

  4. Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC.

  5. Role the puff pastry to a rectangle more of less 1 cm thick, and then roll the rectangle.

  6. Slice the roll into more or less 2 cm thick slices. Place each slice, horizontally, inside individual oven molds.

  7. By pressing with your fingers on the dough against the mold side, shape the dough as thin as possible to cover the whole mold.

  8. Grab your eggs and separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.

  9. At this point your cream should have cooled down. Join in the egg yolks.

  10. Fill each puff pastry cup with cream (not too much or it will come out of the mold in the oven).

  11. Place it in the oven at 220ºC for about 18 min or until the puff pastry look nice and golden.

  12. Tip: If you want them to get the darker spots on the custard, after 10 min in the oven move the oven tray up for the last 8 min, but always keeping an eye on them.

Watch recipe VIDEO here:

Arroz Doce

Arroz doce might not be super famous around the world but it is definitely a favorite in Portugal. It is consider a Christmas dessert, but lets be honest, Portuguese make this all the time and during the whole year.

This recipe has a very special place in my heart since it is my grandmothers recipe. It was funny how she couldn't tell me the exact measurements of the ingredients. The recipe is in her head and she chooses the amounts as she goes, without even thinking.

I tried my best to learn how she does it and transformed it into an actual recipe so I can also be able to make it for my future grand-kids.

I made a recipe video where my grandmother herself showed us how to do it, you can check it out here.


  • 1,5L water

  • 1,5L milk

  • 1 lemon

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • a pinch of salt

  • 50g butter

  • 2 teacups rice

  • 2 teacups sugar

  1. In a big pan put the water boiling. Join one or two lemon peals, the butter, the cinnamon stick and a pinch of salt.

  2. In a smaller pan put the milk boiling in low heat.

  3. When the water starts boiling join in the rice and let it boil for more or less 10 min.

  4. At this point you have to pour the hot milk into the pan with water and let it boil 10 more minutes in a lower heat. (if you notice that your mixture is getting too thick join a little bit more of milk, but the milk has to be hot!)

  5. Taste the rice to check if it is cooked. If so, separate 3 egg yolks and whisk them in a small bowl. Then turn off the heat and pour the yolks into the pan, while mixing the rice in circular movements.

  6. After mixing everything very well you just have to pour the pudding into small serving bowls or into a tray and wait for it to cool down. When it has cooled down you can keep it in the fridge or serve it.

Watch recipe VIDEO here:

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1 comentario

Kelly Artem
Kelly Artem
20 sept 2021

Na receita do arroz doce faltou dizer em que momento entra o açucar.

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