Joao Villanova-Smith makes authentic Pasteis de Nata. She should know, she’s Portuguese. Her kitchen is full of genuine pasteis tins all the way from Lisbon. I am toying with the idea that I might never need to make them because why would you with Joao living just up the road? They require (apparently) the fusion of maddening combinations of temperature characteristics – cool enough to set the wonderfuly lemony custard but hot enough to cook the pastry without burning and (this is the really maddening part) really hot so that they acquire their characteristic burnt sugar spots on top. That’s it – I need never make them with Joao in close by. Just eat them.
All set for expansion, there are plans for new ovens, more Lisboa tins and a machine to make the pastry. Go girl!