Crispy and flaky shell filled with creamy, bright yellow custard laced with a bit of vanilla, cinnamon and a distinctive egg-like flavor. You won’t believe these healthy Portuguese custard tarts contain no eggs at all.
Ever since I got to visit Lisbon this spring break, I couldn’t stop dreaming about their gorgeous looking pastries. These traditional, custard filled tarts were peeking through basically every café window and smelled so amazing that most tourists bought them by the dozen.
Unfortunately, these beautiful desserts are made with fat laden puff pastry and filled with egg yolk, butter and refined sugar based custard . Besides, those cute black spots on top are adorable, but they are indeed burnt custard . And burnt food in general is hardly health promoting.
Being the obsessed foodie I am, I started drafting a healthy version of these Portuguese custard tarts while still browsing through the sunny streets of Lisbon.
Note to self: standing in a Portuguese bookshop, frantically flipping through local cookbooks and taking notes into your smart phone will make you look like a crazy person.
Anyway, a couple of recipe brainstorming sessions and dirty muffin pans later, here they are: healthy, low-fat, cholesterol free and completely vegan Portuguese custard tarts with a sugar-free option(and dusted with my healthy powdered sugar substitute).
- For the custard
- ½ cup (130g) plain soy yogurt (or other plain yogurt of choice)
- 1 and ½ cup (350ml) soymilk (or other milk of choice but e.g. coconut milk might alter the flavor a bit)
- ½ cup (100g) unrefined sugar, erythritol or xylitol (I used ¼ cup erythritol and ¼ cup unrefined sugar but you can make it completely sugar-free if you like)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used my homemade one)
- 1 stick cinnamon (or you can use ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, it will just be visible in the custard)
- ¼ cup (30g) cornstarch
- optional: ⅛ teaspoon turmeric (naturally colors the custard into the nice yellow)
- ⅛ teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
- For the crust
- 7 sheets phyllo (filo) dough (or puff pastry if you can't find phyllo)
- Combine all custard ingredients, except for the black salt, in a saucepan and whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly.
- Boil for a minute or two, still stirring, until thickened into a pudding like consistency.
- Turn off the heat and set aside. (If you forgot to stir for a while and ended up with some lumps, blend the custard with a hand held blender to smooth it out, just don't forget to take out the cinnamon stick before you do)
- Preheat the oven to 450 (230 Celsius) and grease a muffin pan.
- Take out your phyllo dough, layer 5 sheets on top of each other and cut into 9 squares.
- Put the leftover 2 sheets on top of each other, fold twice, (so that you get a thin stripe of dough consisting of six layers on top of each other) and cut into 3 squares.
- Now put each square into one muffin hole and press in evenly (you can either leave the edges overlapping or cut them off for more traditional, round-edged tarts).
- If using puff pastry, just thinly press pieces of puff pastry into your muffin form to form the crust.
- Whisk the custard again to remove any lumps or crust that formed during the cooling. Take out the cinnamon stick.
- Fill each phyllo crust with approximately 2 tablespoons of custard (just about ¾ or ⅔ of each crust, do not overfill).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the dough is nicely browned at the edges and the custard firmed (bake for a bit longer if using puff pastry).
- Let the tarts cool off completely before taking them out of the pan.
- Enjoy your guilt-free treat.
- They keep well in the fridge for about a week.
You can omit the black salt and/or turmeric if you don't have it on hand. The tarts will still taste great, they just want have the distinctive egg-like flavor and the custard won't be so yellow.
Custard recipe inspired by Seitan Is My Motor and The Vegan Word
If you make these or any other recipe from the blog, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @winwinfood, I’d love to see your creations :)
View Portuguese Custard Tarts’ Nutritional Information
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