Portuguese custard tarts

Use filo pastry for a healthier twist on pastel de nata
A crunchy custard pastry
2 ratings
Recipe by: Charlie Farrant | Student Dietitian and Running Blogger

Using filo pastry rather than puff pastry gives these tarts their famous satisfying crunch without all the calories. Using skimmed milk and less sugar than traditional versions make this treat friendlier for the waistline.



  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 600ml skimmed milk
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • 4 sheets filo pastry, each measuring about 30cm x 39cm (12in x 15½in)
45 minutes

Nutrition information (per serving)

5 A DAY:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
  2. Put the sugar, egg yolks, egg, custard powder and vanilla essence into a pan and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk. Heat the mixture until it starts to boil then simmer for 2 minutes, whisking constantly until it thickens. Set aside.
  3. Brush a little oil into the cups of a deep 12-hole muffin tin. Unroll the filo sheets on large chopping board, keeping them stacked. Brush remaining oil over top sheet. Cutting through all the sheets at the same time, divide the sheets into 12 equal squares (12 squares with four sheets in each stack). Firmly press each stack into a hole of the muffin tin (oiled-side of filo upwards) ensuring that there is pastry sticking over the edge of the hole.
  4. Divide the custard among filo cases. Bake for 35–40 minutes until brown blisters begin to form on the custard.
  5. Let the tarts cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then use a small knife to loosen edges and carefully lift out the tarts and transfer to a wire rack to cool until firm. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make sure to keep stirring your custard to avoid lumps.