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Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 18
Categories: Bars / Cookies / Desserts

    Stephen Ceideburg
500  g  Plain flour
170  g  Butter, chilled and cut into
    -small pieces
    Tablespoon salt
2  ts  Fresh lemon juice
1    Egg
240  ml  Iced water
130  g  Butter, melted and cooled
60  g  Plain flour
360  g  Quince paste, mixed with
150  ml  Of any sweet wine.
450  g  Sugar
200  ml  Water
    Vanilla essence
    Oil or vegetable shortening
    -for deep-frying

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 temperature. Posted by Stephen Ceideburg From an article by Meryl Constance in The Sydney Morning Herald, 7/13/93. Courtesy Mark Herron.

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