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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.