Nearby the Mosteiro dos Jerуnimos, Lisboa, is a pastry shop called the Antiga Confeitaria de Belйm, home to what is arguably the Holy Grail of Portuguese sweets: pastйis de Belйm, the recipe for which has been a secret for centuries.
This adoration of the pastйis is easy to understand after you’ve taken a bite. The confection’s shell is made from massa folhada, Portugal’s equivalent to France’s puff pastry. It spirals up, creating a nest of hundreds of crisp layers. Inside is a luscious, warm custard. Rarely do a dozen make it home intact.