Hungry to Sail Again
Today, I’m whipping up a sweet reminder of my glorious Viking Helgrim cruise down Portugal’s Douro River last summer. And I have all the ingredients on hand!
The 262-foot, 106-passenger Viking Helgrim, is a baby longship, custom-built to navigate the short and narrow locks that dot this scenic river that flows past lush rolling vineyards and steep hillsides dotted with olive groves.
Cruise the lovely Douro aboard Viking Helgrim and you’ll become well acquainted with port, Portuguese wines—fortified and not—and, certainly, Pastel de Nata, mini custard pies that transform a crispy crust and creamy filling into two-bite heaven.
Viking Helgrim (Douro River): Pastel de Nata
Flour for dusting
1 lb. Frozen Puff Pastry
1 c. Whole Milk
3 t. Corn Starch
1 c. Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
6 large Eggs
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Lay out one sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and cut into six 4 ½” circles. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place circles in muffin cups, pressing into bottom and sides; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook milk, corn starch, sugar and vanilla, whisking constantly until mixture thickens; remove from heat. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk mixture into egg yolks in a bowl and then add this mixture back into the remaining milk in the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook until thickened—about five minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into dough-lined cups and bake 20 minutes until pastry is golden brown and filling lightly browned on top. Cool slightly before removing.
Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.