Pastéis Recipe

These half-moon shaped pastries are popular throughout Brazil and were originally brought to Sâo Paulo by Japanese immigrants. Pastéis are great for parties and informal gatherings and can be made with a wide variety of basic ingredients that you have on hand.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 8oz. package of cream cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp cachaça (or white rum)
1 cup water
1 tspn salt
1 egg

  1. Mix flour and salt together in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix canola oil, cachaça, and vinegar.
  3. Slowly add the mixture from step #2 to the flour and salt mixture.
  4. Slowly add water little by little as you mix all of the ingredients together.
  5. Work the dough and let rest for at least 2 hours.
  6. Take a small handful of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough until it is thin.
    Roll dough
  7. Use a bowl or round cookie cutter that is about 4 inches across to cut circles from the sheet of dough.
    cut circles from the sheet of dough
  8. Assemble filling. For this recipe, use about 1 to 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese and a small slice of cream cheese per pastéis. You can experiment with a variety of other ingredients as well.
  9. Add the filling of your choice to the center of the circular piece of dough.
    Add the filling
  10. Fold the piece of dough into a half-moon and pinch the edges together using your fingers or a fork.
    Fold the piece of dough into a half-moon
  11. Repeat steps 6 through 10 until all of the dough has been used.
  12. Deep fry the pastéis in a deep fryer, 3 to 4 at a time until golden brown. Optional: baste the pastéis with a light coat of egg yolk before frying them to give them a richer, complex color and added flavor.
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