Romeu e Julieta pastel

Romeu e Julieta pastel

Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

Romeu e Julieta (Romeo and Juliet) is the Brasilian name for the contrasting combination of sweet red goiabada (guava paste) and salty white cheese. You can find it in all manner of desserts, from mousses and ice cream to cheesecake and tarts, but our favourite is as a filling for pastels. The bubbly pastry allows the filling to melt softly – just make sure they’re not too hot!


Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
40g lard, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 shot cachaca or vodka
50g cream cheese
50g ricotta
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
100g guava paste, cut in small pieces
or 100g quince paste, cut in small pieces


  1. To make the dough, put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the lard, vinegar, cachaça and about 40 ml lukewarm water together. Add this to the flour and mix together to form a soft dough. If the dough is too dry and won’t form a ball, keep adding more water a little at a time until it comes together. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. (Try not to overwork it or it will become tough). Cover with clingfilm and let it rest for 1 hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough into a thin rectangle, then cut out rough 9–10 cm squares. Mix the guava paste with the cream cheese and ricotta in a small bowl. Put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a pastry square. Brush around the filling with a little water, then fold it over into a rectangle and seal it. Use a 7–8 cm round pastry cutter to cut the pastel into a semi-circle or half moon shape and seal the edge with the tines of a fork. Transfer to a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Continue making pastels until all the filling has been used up.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to about 180°C (a little dough dropped into the hot oil should immediately sizzle). Fry in batches for 2–3 minutes, without overcrowding the pan, until golden on both sides. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm while you fry the rest. Serve warm as they are, or dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon, if you like.
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