Portuguese Tarts

From Macau With Love: The Enchanting Tale of Portuguese Tarts

A Dance of Flavors in Macau

In the mystical ambiance of Macau’s storied past, a remarkable treasure revealed itself to me: the spellbinding allure of Portuguese egg tarts. These divine delicacies embody the harmonious fusion of Portuguese and Asian culinary traditions, invoking a profound sense of nostalgia and cultural heritage. With their captivating caramelized façade, these Portuguese tarts stand as a beacon of culinary artistry, inviting you to experience their exquisite taste and indulge in the transcendent journey they offer.

As memories swirl, the age-old rivalry between the iconic Lord Stow’s Bakery in the Venetian Hotel and the irresistible Margaret Café e Nata beckons. With each bite, emotions surge, tying together memories of family adventures and culinary delights.

When Portugal Meets Macau: A Flavorful Symphony

While “Portuguese Egg Tarts” and “Macau Egg Tarts” often tango in the same breath, their stories sing different tunes. The Portuguese version whispers tales of cinnamon-touched sweetness.

In contrast, Macau’s adaptation is a textured delight. As we embarked on our homemade journey, every twist and turn felt like tracing the cobbled streets of Macau.


  • 420g of passion-infused rough puff pastry (Note: Homemade is the key to unlocking authenticity.)
  • ½ cup velvety heavy cream (35% fat dairy cream, 118 ml)
  • ½ cup sugar, pure as morning dew (115 g)
  • 1 ¼ cup soulful whole milk (300 ml, 3.5% milk fat)
  • 2 tender egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons loyal cornstarch (11 g)
  • 1¼ teaspoon spirited vanilla extract

Crafting Your Edible Masterpiece

Sculpting the Dreamy Pastry Shells:

  1. Tenderly roll the puff pastry into a 10×12 inch rectangle. As you roll from the 10-inch side, feel the emotions shaping it into a tight, 10-inch-long log. A brief 30-minute respite in the freezer ensures it firms up.
  2. With gentle precision, slice this chilled masterpiece into 12 equal disks, each about 35g. Start with 6, keeping the rest cool for their turn.
  3. On a delicately floured surface, lay each piece with the dough’s spiral staring skyward. Roll each slice into a disc, gently bigger than your tart tin, using minimal flour. Lift these with a pastry scraper or spatula, ensuring they remain whole.
  4. Place each disk at the heart of your tart tin, softly pressing it in. As you mold the dough, form a little edge atop the tin’s rim. This ensures the custard stays within its home. Swift motions keep the dough’s spirit alive.
  5. Give these beauties a 35-minute rest in the freezer. You can prepare them earlier and freeze for up to a fortnight.

Brewing the Silken Custard:

  1. In a humble saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla extract until the sugar waltzes away.
  2. Let this dance over a medium-low flame, whisking continuously. When steam gently rises, signaling the custard’s embrace, you know you’re close.
  3. Once thick enough to lovingly coat a spoon, remove from the flame. Whisk with dedication, ensuring no corner of the pan feels left out. Let it cool, its essence sealed with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

Assembling and Baking the Dream:

  1. Preheat your oven’s heart to 475°F (245°C). Ready your frozen pastry shells on a baking tray, perhaps lined with parchment for an easier cleanup.
  2. Pour the custard, ensuring it’s a shade below the pastry shell’s rim. Time is of the essence here.
  3. Into the oven’s embrace they go, on the middle rack. Immediately, reduce the temperature to 450°F (230°C). A 30-minute dance awaits, but a 20-minute check ensures they waltz evenly.
  4. If the golden hue appears at 25 minutes, with the iconic scorched bubbles, another 5 minutes should perfect them. If they appear to be tanning too quickly, perhaps let the oven’s residual warmth complete their journey.
  5. Once their dance concludes, let them cool to touch, serenading your senses with their aroma. The reward for your patience is the first warm bite, a taste of Macau’s heart.
  6. To rekindle their warmth, a preheated oven at 350°F offers them a 7-10 minute embrace.

A Loving Note

The magic in these tarts lies in the hands that craft them. Every emotion poured into them returns as a heartwarming bite, bridging the distance between your kitchen and the streets of Macau.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter