The Pastel de Nata is one of the seven portuguese gastronomic marvels: Each Pastel de Nata represents generations of gentle friars and nuns developing and improving one single recipe.
Although there are historical references which link its origin to the Southern region of Alentejo and the North of Porto, the first written recipe points back to the 16th century and to the Infanta Dona Maria, granddaughter of the King of Portugal, Dom Manuel I. History tells us that after she got married to the Duke of Parma, she travelled with her two cooking maids and 67 different recipes written across 4 notebooks. It is in the third one, the Milk Delights notebook, that we find the Pastel de Leite, nowadays called Pastel de Nata.
However, the most detailed recipe appears for first time in the Monasterio de Odivelas in abbess’ Dona Bernardina da Conceição notebook, already named Pastel de Nata.