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Quince pastelitos

These Latin American pastries are soaked in syrup, making them stickily delicious.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking (plus resting)
  • Serves 8
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Quince pastelitos
When quince is in season, you could make your own quince paste, but we've taken a shortcut and bought ours. While we love this homemade flaky pastry, a good butter-puff pastry would also work well here. Soaking in syrup makes these pastries stickily delicious, but if you prefer a slightly less sweet result, dust them with icing sugar instead.


  • 120 gm quince paste or guava paste
  • Vegetable or grapeseed oil, for deep-frying
  • Icing sugar, to serve
Flaky pastry
  • 175 gm butter, diced and chilled, plus extra, melted for brushing
  • 335 gm plain flour (2¼ cups)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
Vanilla-cinnamon syrup
  • 330 gm caster sugar (1½ cups)
  • 3 cinnamon quills
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • 1
    For flaky pastry, melt 50gm butter in a
    saucepan over low heat and set aside. Pulse
    300gm flour, remaining diced butter and ½ tsp
    salt in a food processor until pea-sized lumps
    of butter remain, add yolk and lemon juice, and
    pulse to just combine. Add 125ml iced water
    and pulse to just combine, then turn out onto
    a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until
    smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest and chill. Roll out dough on
    a lightly floured surface to a 40cm square, brush
    evenly with melted butter, then dust lightly with a
    little of the remaining flour to soak up the butter.
    Fold dough in half from the top down to form a
    20cm x 40cm rectangle, then brush with butter
    and dust with flour once again. Fold short sides
    in toward the centre, overlapping (you’ll now have
    a 20cm square), then brush with butter and dust
    with flour. Fold top half of the dough again (you’ll
    have a 10cm x 20cm rectangle), brush with butter
    and dust with flour, then fold short sides in as
    before to form a 10cm square. Wrap in plastic
    wrap and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.
  • 2
    For vanilla-cinnamon syrup, stir sugar and
    250ml water in a saucepan over medium-high
    heat until sugar dissolves, add cinnamon and
    vanilla bean and seeds, bring to the boil and cook
    until a light syrup forms (4-5 minutes). Add lemon
    juice, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 3
    Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to
    a 45cm square, trim uneven edges and cut into
    16 squares (we’ve used a fluted pastry wheel for
    fancy edges). Place a teaspoonful of quince paste
    in the centre of half the squares and brush edges
    lightly with water. Place remaining pastry squares
    on top offsetting them to form eight-point stars
    and press around filling to seal. Pinch to form a
    flower shape and place on a lightly floured tray.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry
    pastries in batches, turning occasionally, until
    golden brown (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper
    towels, then serve hot drizzled with vanillacinnamon
    syrup and dusted with icing sugar.