In My Lisbon, Nuno Mendes shares classic Portuguese recipes.
This is one of my most beloved pastéis: a triangle of pastry named after the Jesuit monk’s hat it resembles. Different versions have developed over the last hundred years; in my favorite type, the dough is baked dark and crispy, the almonds are toasted, and the pastries are stuffed with almond egg cream. I love to buy a couple and eat them on a bench at Praça Luís de Camões, a central square that is fabulous for watching the world go by while savoring my jesuitas.
- Preheat the oven to 430°F (convection 390°F) and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Heat the sugar syrup in a pan until just boiling, then leave to cool for a few minutes. Whisk the yolks lightly in a heatproof bowl, then pour the sugar syrup over the yolks, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook gently over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and ground almonds. Pour it out onto a plate to cool, covered with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
- Make sure the pastry is in two large rectangles about ⅛ inch/ 3 mm thick, rolling them out a little if necessary. Cut each one into 6 large triangles. Spread half of the triangles with 1 tablespoon of the almond egg cream. Place the remaining triangles on top and gently press the edges to seal. Lightly brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle the sliced almonds on top. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and chill for 10 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Reprinted with permission from My Lisbon copyright (c) 2018 by Nuno Mendes. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.