Recipe Category: Ginny Grant Issue 196



I’ve long been a fan of pastéis de nata, the Portuguese custard tart with crisp pastry and sweet eggy filling, ever since I discovered Lisboa Patisserie on London’s Golborne Road. There is nothing better to have with a strong espresso. It’s pastry that has travelled the world courtesy of Portuguese colonisation or sailing routes, as popular in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan as it is in Portugal. It does vary though, sometimes the pastry is short crust rather than puff pastry, sometimes the egg has the dark caramelised exterior from the hot oven, at other times it is glossy and plain. I’ve used a bought butter puff pastry here, and have found that it is difficult to get that scorched top in my oven when using muffin tins, however they are still delectable without it, especially when the custard is infused with lemongrass. These are best eaten on the day they are made either warm or cold. However all the components can be prepared the day ahead.



Laksa is a dish that has variations throughout southeast Asia from Indonesia through to Thailand. Chicken is often added to the mix, as are fresh prawns; asparagus isn’t traditional but I like to add it when in season. Make large batches of both the sambal and the laksa paste then refrigerate or freeze. If you can’t find candlenuts use macadamias or a few Brazil nuts.