Pastel de palmito

Pastel de palmito

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 15 mins plus chilling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 12

Serve an authentic Brazilian snack by creating these fried cream cheese pasties with rum-enriched bread dough and a palm heart filling

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



For the dough

  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 4 tbsp vegetable shortening or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cachaça or white rum
  • 4-5 tbsp water
  • vegetable oil, for frying

For the filling

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 400g tin hearts of palm, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese

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  1. You can make the dough by hand or use a food processor. Place the flour in a large bowl or food processor with some salt. Add the vegetable shortening and mix well or pulse until it makes crumbs. Stir in the egg, vinegar and the rum, then pour the water gradually until the mixture comes together as a dough. Knead the mixture once more, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr.
  2. Make the filling by heating the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and season. Fry for 5 mins until soft and add the tomatoes, parsley and hearts of palm. Fry for another min and remove from heat.
  3. Halve the dough and using a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large square about 30cm X 30cm. Use a pastry cutter to make 6 squares. Repeat with the second piece of dough. If it’s too soft, place it in the fridge, before adding the filling, to firm up again.
  4. Using a pastry brush lightly brush the edges of the square with water. Add 2 tbsp of the filling, a tiny dollop of cream cheese and fold over. Use a fork to press the edges together and seal. Chill until ready to fry. Place the pastries on a layer of baking paper, top with another and then wrap in cling film to stay dry until using.
  5. Heat 7.5-10cm vegetable oil in a wok or small heavy saucepan. It’s ready when a small piece of bread dropped in sizzles immediately. Fry the pastels in batches for about 2-3 mins or until golden brown and bubbly. Drain on kitchen paper and fry the rest. Serve warm with napkins.

Recipe from, June 2014

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