Keto Pasteis de Nata
What does that mean? Behind the scenes, it says that last year I was on a backpacking trip through Portugal (which has been one of my favorite vacation so far), and tried lots of their fabulous desserts, including world-famous Pasteis de Nata.
Naturally, it is pastry, but it is a necessity to try for every visitor, especially in Lisbon’s Belem where they originate from. Of course, I tried them out. That wouldn’t go without some unpleasant consequences because of gluten and sugar load, though. Nevertheless, I am not sorry today. Now, I’m coming up with a low-carb, sugar and gluten-free variant of the fantastic Portuguese egg pastry. Thus, here come the keto friendly custard tarts.
The original custard tarts are crunchy on the outside (well, the side effect of them being pastry), and soft and creamy on the inside. Obviously, I couldn’t come close to the crunchiness with a low-carb approach unless I tried to overbake (in other words burn) the dough. Unless somewhere out there lies an essential secret that I still need to discover about keto baking, keto “pastry” will never be crunchy and not-overburnt and dried-out at the same time. We’ll see, I am an optimist and still young enough to learn much much more of the art of baking.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (180°C) and slightly grease a muffin tin with butter.
- Measure out all the dough ingredients. Take the two flours and baking powder. Combine well with a whisk.
- Melt butter and add vanilla and erythritol. Stir. Whisk the egg with a fork.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the mozzarella for 2 minutes at around 400W power. Stir, using a spatula then add the flours and the butter mixture. Mix until combined and add the egg. Stir again until batter is combined and the cheese and dough are completely mixed.
- Reheat for 10 seconds in the microwave. Press and fold some more until the dough is almost entirely one color. You might need to do this with your hands, in which case it is useful to wet them a little.
- Reheat the dough for 10 seconds again. Roll two halves of the dough to the approximate 1/16-inch thickness (help yourself with placing parchment paper beneath and on top of dough). Cut out 12 3 to 4-inch circles and place each into the muffin tin.
- Bake for 10 minutes. The edges should become slightly brown.
- Keep the oven heated at 300°F (180°C).
- Dissolve the optional xanthan gum in the heavy cream, mixing with an electric mixer just until the mixture gets somewhat thick. If you are not using the xanthan gum, just mix the heavy cream until it gets a little bit thicker. Do not overmix. Add erythritol (and stevia) and stir until the mixture is smooth.
- In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth. Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
- Ladle the egg-cream mixture into the partly baked dough.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The edges should be puffed but the middle still jiggly. When done, cool completely in the tin. Powder with cinnamon and, for best results, serve and eat the same day. Enjoy!