I'm not big on cakes and pies. Maybe I'd like to be, but the consequence of baking pies all day long is likely to have a quite devastating effect on my already not-exactly-super-model-slim torso. It's not that I'm overly fat, but the frigging cakes and pies are. Seriously, it's like sausage; You really don't want to know what goes into a tasty savory or sweet pie. And cakes are really not much better. Of course, books and magazines are full of recipes how to make healthy pies from saw dust and hay, but face it, that is really an oxymoron. Pastries and pies are supposed to be unhealthy little packages of pure pleasure and joy! So here is a recipe for a not particularly healthy, amazing invention of a pie. It's almost foolproof (that remains to be tested though, I don't know enough fools to get reliable statistics). I got this recipe from my two beautiful Portuguese friends Aline and Soina who requested Tarte de Natas before one of our many dinners.
Puff pastry or similar, it's up to you really.
4 dl mix of milk and cream
4 egg yolks
1-2 dl sugar
1-2 sticks of cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1-2 tbs corn starch in a small amount of cold water
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, lemon peal and cinnamon stick in a pan and bring slowly to a boil. Let it mixture simmer for a little while to give the cinnamon and lemon peal time to infuse. Strain the boiling mixture over the egg yolks whilst stirring. Pour the mixture back in to the pan, mix half of the starch slurry into the custard, and bring slowly to a boil. Yes, you read correctly, to a boil! The starch will prevent the yolk from separating, and the boiling destroys enzymes which might eat the starch. It's a double win! Adjust the thickness with more starch if needed; The consistency should be quite thick, a little beyond runny. Pour and scoop the mixture into a mold lined with the pie crust, and bake at 200-220 C until the crust is crispy and nicely browned, and the skin has brown spots. Let the pie cool for a while and serve sprinkled cinnamon powder, if you like.