Vegan Portuguese Custard Tarts

Vegan Pasteis de Nata

The last part of my yoga teacher training course ran in Portugal. For 10 days I lived the “ashram” life, waking at 4am, doing yoga until sunset, eating microbiotic food, sleeping on a pallet & dodging snakes. Much as I enjoyed ashram living, I was super excited to travel to Lisbon afterwards to meet Alex for a week’s holiday. Lisbon is the most wonderful, colourful place, with narrow streets, seductive bars & restaurants, and fado. I fell in love with it instantly. And then we discovered Pasteis de Nata, the crack cocaine of desserts. After 10 days of cabbage and rice, I ate them like there was no tomorrow.

And then, of course, we became plant-based. Now I love being plant based and there’s no going back. But I have often lamented the fact that I can never again eat Portuguese custard tarts. If I could sing. I would write fado about it. And then along came this recipe…

This is lifted straight from Gaz Oakley’s Plant Only Kitchen. I make no bones about this – it’s an awesome book and this is an awesome recipe. Eat in the sunshine with a dark espresso, shot of Port and fado on full volume. Until next time Lisbon….


Vegan Pasteis De Natas

Vegan Pastels De Nata


3 Tbsp Plain Flour

1 Packet of Puff Pastry (JusRol is vegan)

2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon

1 400ml Can of Coconut Milk or 400ml Soy or Oat Cream

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract (or a pod)

240ml Non-Dairy Milk

5 Tbsp Cornflour

4 Tbsp Icing Sugar



1/ Preheat the over to 180C / 350F

2/ Lightly grease 8-9 holes of a muffin tray

3/ Roll out the pastry into a large rectangle (about 2mm thick) – sprinkle over the cinnamon, covering all the pastry

4/ Tightly roll up the pastry widthways into a long log. Cut into 8 rounds. Roll each round into a disc about 10cm in diameter. Press the discs into the muffin tray holes, making sure they reach all the way up the sides.

5/ Bake in the oven for 10 minutes

6/ Make the custard by adding the coconut milk or soy/oat cream and vanilla to saucepan – bring to a simmer over a low heat.

7/ In a bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, cornflour and icing sugar until its smooth. Add this to the saucepan, mix until its thick and creamy – usually about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

8/ Use a spoon to flatten the base of each pastry if it’s risen, to make room for the custard. Spoon the custard into the pastry cases, then place back in the oven to colour on top – about 15-20 minutes. Check regularly to make sure they don’t burn.

9/ Once golden on top, remove from the oven and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes to set before removing from the tray ad placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar. Eat wantonly.