Musings by Mia – Gluten-Free Pasteis de Nata

Musings by Mia Back YardIn order to celebrate the summer and explore the world of food from the comfort of your own home, I am writing a ‘staycation’ series! My partner, a wonderful cook/baker, has been busy developing some tasty gluten free recipes that I am eager to share. For the series, we will be sharing a delicious recipe and a suggestion as to how to make a ‘staycation’ meal out of it!

Musings by Mia pastais de nata wpOur third ‘staycation’ meal is a delicious gluten-free pastry tart called Pasteis de Nata, otherwise known as Portuguese Egg Tarts. These are perfect for anytime of the day, but I love it as a midmorning snack! You may have seen these delicious custard-filled tarts made with puff pastry on social media. Within the last few years they’ve certainly gained viral popularity, and for a good reason. Originally, these tarts were made by monks around Lisbon, who used egg whites to starch their robes. This left an excess of egg yolks that needed to be used up. They came up with this beautiful egg tart, with a flaky outer pastry and a rich, sweet egg custard filling with a touch of cinnamon. When we were in Lisbon, I was lucky enough to find a gluten-free bakery that made Pasteis de Nata and was immediately hooked. When we returned home, I convinced my partner to recreate them and he sure was up to the task!

To make it a true ‘staycation’ meal we recommend pairing a tart with some fresh summer fruit and an espresso and imagining you are in the bustling streets of Lisbon. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Pasteis de Nata

  • Makes 12 Pasteis de Nata, with leftover puff pastry

Gluten-Free Puff Pastry
*Note* – You can use store bought gluten-free puff pastry, but the shells will not be nearly as flaky and crispy


  • 2 cups (345g) Gluten-Free 1-to-1 baking flour
    • (I used Bob’s Red Mill, but it should work using any flour blend as long as it contains xanthan gum)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (180g) of cold water
  • 1 cup (226g) butter – softened to room temperature
  • Large strips of peel from one lemon (pith removed)


  1. Mix flour, salt, and cold water until it comes together and forms a cohesive dough.
  2. Heavily flour a countertop and work the dough into an 18-inch square
  3. Using a spatula spread 1/3 of the softened butter over the left 2/3 of the dough
  4. Fold over the unbuttered 1/3 of dough followed by the left 1/3 dough and pat down to release air bubbles and pinch the edges to seal and transfer to refrigerator for 15 minutes
  5. Remove dough from refrigerator and heavily flour work surface before turning 90 degrees and rolling dough into 18-inch square
  6. Spread 1/3 of the butter over the left 2/3 of dough. Fold and refrigerate as per step 4.
  7. Remove dough after 15 minutes and heavily flour work surface before turning 90 degrees and rolling out.
  8. Spread the entire dough with the remaining butter and roll into a tight log.
  9. Trim the ends of the dough, cut the log in half, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

gluten free puff pastry

Custard Filling


  • 3 TBSP (31g) Gluten-Free flour
  • 1 ¼ cup (300g) Whole milk
  • ¼ cup (80g) Heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cup (340g) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups (80g) water
  • ½ TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 large egg yolks


  1. Whisk 3 TBSP Flour with ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup heavy cream until well combined and there are no lumps.
  2. Add cinnamon, sugar and water to a small saucepan and cook until it reaches 100°C (a rapid boil), you can swirl the pan, but do not stir this mixture. Once it reaches this temperature take it off heat and add lemon peel. Let sit 30 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining 1 cup of milk until it begins to boil and remove from heat and whisk in flour mixture. Return to heat and cook until thick creamy and smooth ~5 minutes.
  4. Take off heat and strain in sugar syrup whisking to combine.
  5. Whisk in egg yolks and vanilla and set aside until ready to use.

Note: This will be a thin custard, don’t worry it will set up nicely in the oven.


  1. Preheat oven to 475°C
  2. Slice the puff pastry log into disks between ¾-1 inch thick.
  3. Place the cut disks into a mini muffin tin and using your fingers work the dough up the sides to form a tart shell. Whatever puff pastry is remaining can be frozen
  4. Fill each tart shell ¾ full with the custard and bake at 475°C for 10-12 minutes. Finish with the broiler for 1-2 more minutes to give the tarts a nice colour on top.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a rack to cool. These are best enjoyed out of the oven, slightly warm still! Feel free to sprinkle a combination of cinnamon and icing sugar over top.

About Mia

Mia enjoys gardening, trying new gluten-free recipes and drinking copious amounts of tea!

  • “Musings by Mia is meant to be a collection of topics that I wish had been more discussed when I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease as a teen. I will explore topics from the perspective of a young adult with Celiac Disease and share my personal experiences in these articles. As these are my own experiences, they are by no means meant to be a ‘how-to’ guide, but instead an informative glimpse into the situations a typical young adult with Celiac Disease might face.”
  • If you have questions or comments,  or if you have topic suggestions, Mia would be happy to hear from you. Scroll down to the comment field below or email with your thoughts.