Can't-Miss Egg Custard Tarts at Newark's Teixeiras Bakery
Editor's note: For the next few weeks, we'll be chiming in with snapshots of our recent road trip to the Portuguese and Brazilian Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, thanks to a loaner ride in a Buick Verano. Our destinations, and these articles, come purely from Serious Eats editorial.
Our Newark road trip continues from last week, a sweet follow-up to Altas Horas' massive chicken sandwich a short walk away on Ferry Street. If there's a Portuguese dessert you can't leave Newark without eating, it's an egg custard tart, or pasteis de nata ($1), from Teixeiras Bakery. Andrew Coe mentioned the tarts in his introduction to the bakery's bread, and they remain the standout item.
Portuguese egg custard tarts are different from the Hong Kong-style dan tat you'll find all over Chinatown. They're less firm and overtly eggy, more a rich custard that's creamy instead of wobbly. The filling has a vanilla lilt and typically some burned spotting on top.
Many Chinatown bakeries carry these "Portuguese-style" tarts; the best I've tasted comes from New Flushing Bakery in downtown Flushing, but Teixeiras' smokes them all. Their filling is rich like creme brulee but light like pastry cream, so full of vanilla custard flavors you'll be shocked it costs a mere dollar a pop.
The crust is where Teixeiras really sets itself apart: it's shatter-crisp, dark and burnished. The layers separate easily and do so with an audible crunch. This is pastry gold.
Teixeiras also does an almond tart ($1), which swaps the smooth custard for a chewy almond paste filling. The crust here is more of a shortcrust pastry, and it lacks the bite and buttery fullness that the egg custard tart delivers. Not bad, especially for a buck, but there's more egg custard tarts to eat. Buy a bunch and bring them home as edible souvenirs.
Thanks again to Buick for the ride.