Butter, chilled and cut into
Fresh lemon juice
Butter, melted and cooled
Quince paste, mixed with
Of any sweet wine.
Oil or vegetable shortening
To make the puff pastry: Cut the butter into the flour and salt until
the consistency of crumbs. Gradually mix in the lemon juice and add
the egg. Then, working the dough continuously with the fingers, add
the water 3 tablespoons at a time. When all the water has been ab-
sorbed and the dough is quite smooth, place it on a lightly floured
surface and knead it for about 10-15 minutes until smooth and
elastic. Leave to rest 20-30 minutes, covered with a dry tea towel.
Roll out the dough thinly, to about 80 cm square. Brush the surface
with some of the melted butter, dust it with flour and smooth the
flour evenly into the butter with the hand. Fold the dough in half
and repeat the buttering and flouring process. Then repeat the
process twice more (4 times in all) until the dough is only 20 cm
square. Roll out to about 40 cm square and trim to a perfect 39 cm
square. Cut the dough into 36 x 6.5 cm squares.
To assemble: Place about 1 teaspoon of quince filling in the centre
of half the squares, then top each with another square at a 45-
degree angle so you end up with an eight-pointed star, and press the
dough around the filling to secure it firmly. Shape the pastelito
into a flower by putting a forefinger in turn on each point of the
star, pointing inwards to the centre, then use your thumb and middle
ringer to pinch the adjoining points of the bottom square up around
the forefinger. This is less complicated than it sounds.
To make syrup: Heat the sugar and and water into a small saucepan,
stirring until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Boil steadily
without stirring for 5-10 minutes until glossy and thickened. Stir in
a few drops of vanilla essence and keep warm.
To deep fry: Put about 7-8 cms of oil or shortening in two deep pans
or saucepans. Heat one pan on medium heat (to about 75 degrees C) and
the other until it is hot (180 degrees C). Drop 2 or 3 paste- litos
into the warm fat and fry for 3-4 minutes, basting once or twice,
until the layers of puff pastry begin to separate and open up like a
flower. Do not let colour, but rapidly remove the pastelitos to the
pan of hot oil, and fry on both sides for about 2 minutes until
golden brown. Drain the pastelitos on absorbent paper, then dip in
the warm syrup and place on a serving plate. Serve at room
Posted by Stephen Ceideburg
From an article by Meryl Constance in The Sydney Morning Herald,
7/13/93. Courtesy Mark Herron.