Sek Pau Mei

The misadventures of the heart and sometimes, the stomach.

Recipe: Portuguese Egg Tarts

If you could have one last meal before you die, what would it be?

Well I know for a fact that the main course must must must be a piece of well marbled steak. Done medium. No sauce. As you can see there’s no room for negotiations here. 

I have yet to make my mind up about the amuse-bouche, appetizer, the salad, the soup, the palate cleanser, the dessert (always the dessert), the drinks. 

Perhaps when death looms, I shall make up my mind.

But I know for a fact that I must must must have Portuguese Egg Tarts. As you can see, this is also not negotiable. 

I have always eaten Portuguese egg tarts (you know, the ones from King’s Confectionery)

But I have only truly truly eaten a Portuguese egg tart when I was in Macau two years ago at the famous Margaret’s Cafe e Nata. Each tart costs RM 4/5 if I am not mistaken.

You’ll have to wait in line for them, and the lady boss has an attitude – like the Penang charkueyteow ladies.


But when you bite into these when they are pipping hot from the oven, you will be humbled. You will be brought to your knees as you sink your teeth into the flaky, buttery pastry and the rich, creamy custard.

You, my virtual friend, will weep tears of joy.


You know how I always exaggerate when I describe something? I always mean them.

I also mean it when I say that when asked what was the most memorable thing about Macau, I do not talk about the ruins and rich history. I do not rave about its casinos or pretty lights. 

It has always been and always will be a resounding, “the egg tarts”. 

And in an ideal world, I would be able to fly to Macau on a monthly basis to have this, or Margaret would open a store here in Malaysia or I would find someplace that makes something close to that life changing experience. But this isn’t an ideal world. The real world is filled with death and violence and it rains every single day so your laundry never dries doesn’t have egg tarts. 

So I made my own. You can find tons of recipes online. But the one below is the best because it has four egg yolks and too much heavy cream. And also cause its my personal recipe.

Do these taste like Margaret’s? No. But it comes pretty darn close. 


150ml heavy cream
100ml full cream milk
3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1 1/2 tbsp fine caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract 
Puff pastry

1. In a sauce pan, bring cream and milk to barely a simmer (small bubbles at the side of the pan!)
2. Add in sugar and stir until all is dissolved.
3. Beat your eggs in a separate bowl. Add a little of the cream/milk mixture while stirring* Keep adding gradually and stirring until your mixture comes together.
4. Add in your vanilla extract. Leave aside to cool completely
5. Butter your muffin pan and line it with puff pastry. It should come up to the side to form a ‘cup’ (Not too thick, or the pastry won’t cook)
6. Divide your yolk mixture evenly into your pastry cups.
7. Bake at 200C for 20 minutes.
8. If you like the caramelized bits on top, put it under your broiler for a minute or so. (Keep a close eye on them!)
9. Serve warm (or immediately if you want to burn the roof of your tongue and fingers).
10. Proceed with the falling to your knees and weeping part.

*This is called ‘tempering’. if you pour the hot mixture directly into your eggs, you risk scrambling them – which is yummy, but doesn’t make good egg tarts – by pouring it in gradually, you bring the temperature of the eggs up, to match that of the hot mixture. When the eggs are up to temperature, you can pour the rest in and end up with a beautiful, rich, smooth custard! 


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  1. Anonymous 9th July 2013 on 7:04 pm Reply

    Must try it

  2. Anonymous 6th August 2013 on 8:52 am Reply

    can i know what brand of puff pastry u r using?

  3. Annette 5th October 2013 on 8:29 am Reply

    Tried making it using your recipe today and it turned out great! Next time I will up the sugar to 2 Tbsp, it wasn't sweet enough for me. To make my own batch caramelized on top, I set mine to broil setting (upper heating element only), moved the tray closer to it by putting another muffin tray underneath, upside down, and set the temperature to 250 C. It really did caramelize in about a minute, so have to keep a close watch!

    Also the recipe didn't say – but this recipe yields 6 yummy Portugese egg tarts! Love it! Thank you for so much for the recipe!

  4. Annette 5th October 2013 on 8:32 am Reply

    I made these today and they're amazing! Next time I would increase the sugar to 2 Tbsp because to me, they're not sweet enough. To make my batch caramelized on top, after the initial 20 minutes, I set my oven to broil (upper heating element only), up the temperature to 250 C and moved the tray closer to the top by putting another muffin tray underneath, upside down. It really does caramelized very quickly, so keep a close watch!

    Oh and recipe doesn't say – but it yields 5 yummy Portugese egg tarts. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I will be making these again and again, that's for sure. :)

    • iaremunyee 5th October 2013 on 10:50 am Reply

      Dear Annette

      Thank you so much for trying my recipe! Yeah they do caramelize super quickly :) Let me know how they turn out with 2tbsp of sugar! I am sure they would be yums!

      Glad to know that you like them :)

  5. Sara 29th October 2013 on 9:01 pm Reply

    Hi! If you love portuguese egg tarts you must try the real ones here in Portugal. They're called "Pasteis de nata" and they are sold in every single bakery here. The most famous bakery is this one:

    • iaremunyee 10th November 2013 on 9:27 am Reply

      Hello Sara

      I will keep that in mind when I visit portugal one day!

      Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Anonymous 28th November 2013 on 4:01 pm Reply

    hai i REALLY want to make this :( i already try it but the top of custard not brown spots as yours :( did u use a blowtorch?
    plis reply ya :( thank you soo muchh

    nicky – from indonesian

    • iaremunyee 9th December 2013 on 2:18 am Reply

      Hi Nicky!

      I did not use a blow torch. I just turned on the broiler function of my oven and keep a good eye on it and you should get the brown spots. Becareful not to burn it!

      Good luck :)

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