Travesseiros de Sintra – Sintra Pillows

Travesseiros de Sintra - Sintra PillowsFinding recipes that aren’t well known outside the country of origin always makes me smile and Travesseiros de Sintra – Sintra Pillows are one such of those recipes.

Pastry shaped into pillows is the kind of thing I want to eat and these are surprisingly unfussy, I’d even go so far as saying these are easy. When you define easy baking what comes to mind? I’d love to know in the comments below.

portuguese recipesportuguese Sintra Pillows

Probably the best part of making something you haven’t before is sharing with your significant other and hearing “mmmmm” on the first bite and then hearing it again on the second bite…these are a winner!

Such a winner that once the first pillow had been consumed the question came “where are those pastries stored?” So friends these are a hit!

These pastries originate in Sintra from an old bakery that is still around today and was even promoted by King D. Carlos the I and have clearly stayed popular throughout time which reflects why they should be more popular outside Portugal than they currently are.

How to prepare Travesseiros de Sintra – Sintra Pillows

  • Create the syrup: Place the water and sugar into a saucepan and simmer until a string of syrup is lightly formed when you lift your spatula from the syrup.
  • Complete the filing: Combine the ground almonds, egg yolks and ground cinnamon in a bowl and add to the simmering syrup.
  • Smooth it out: Simmer the filling until thickened and smooth. Set it aside to cool completely.
  • Prepare your pastry: Evenly cut the pastry into rectangles.
  • Fill it out: Place the almond filling into the center of your pastry, allowing 1 1/2 inches on the long side of your rectangles and 1 inch on the short edges of your rectangle.
  • Fold and fold: Fold the long sides inwards and over the filling, pressing together.
  • Press the edges: Press the short edges of your filled pastry together to finish off your pillows and place onto your baking tray. Repeat with the remaining pastries.
  • Bake: Place in the oven and bake until golden, whilst hot out of the oven, sprinkle over the sugar.
  • Serve: Serve these warm with your favorite hot drink and enjoy!

Tips for the best Travesseiros de Sintra – Sintra Pillows

Consistency of Syrup: In the translated versions of this recipe I found the literal translation said to cook the syrup until the ‘wire point’ or the ‘yarn point’, which meant nothing. A little search turned up nothing. The best option was to cook the syrup and let it simmer for at least 4 minutes, letting it reduce, but not change color, stirring intermittently and then pull the spatula away and around that point I noticed how a thin line of syrup hardened as it dripped away – the wire point!

Consistency of almond filling: From combining the almond meal and yolks to adding it to the syrup and once it is cooked and cooling, the mixture will clump up which will be hard to spoon up into the center of your pastry so the easiest option is to break up the almond before spooning and this will help you form it it for the filling and then to shape the pastry correctly.

Filling versus amount of pastry: The original recipe results in quite a lot of filling remaining if you only use the suggested 400 grams / 0.8 pounds of puff pastry.

Temperature of puff pastry: The perfect temperature of your puff pastry should be room temperature making it easy to form into the pillows.

More pastry recipes you’ll enjoy

Portokalopita – Greek Orange Phyllo Cake

Turkish Baklava

Portuguese Apple Tart – Tarte de Maçã

Travesseiros de Sintra – Sintra Pillows
Adapted from cybercook
Makes 10

Ingredients:
300 grams / 1 1/2 cups superfine/caster sugar
100 milliliters / 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
150 grams / 1 1/2 cups almond meal
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
800 grams / 1.75 pounds puff pastry
1 tablespoon superfine/caster sugar

Directions:
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside. Preheat your oven to 220C/430F.

Place the sugar and water into a saucepan on medium high heat and cook until the syrup has been simmering and a thin line of hardened sugar forms slowly off your spatula when you pull it out of the syrup (see note), approximately 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the almond meal, egg yolks and ground cinnamon and add to the syrup, combine until smooth and thickened, approximately 2 minutes.

IMG 4347(pp w768 h512)Set aside to cool completely.

For the pillows, cut your pastry into even squares.

Break up the cooled almond filling and spoon into the center of your pastry, along 1 1/2 inches on the long side of your rectangles and 1 inch on the short edges of your rectangle.

IMG 4350(pp w768 h512)Fold the long sides of your rectangle pastry over the filling and press down to firm the two layers of pastry on top of the filling.

IMG 4351(pp w768 h512)Press the short edges together and your first Sintra pillow is complete. Place onto your prepared baking tray and repeat with the remaining pastry rectangles.

Place into the oven to bake until golden, for 25 minutes.

Remove the golden pillows and right out of the oven sprinkle the sugar.

Serve warm with your favorite tea or coffee on the side.

portuguese Travesseiros de Sintraseasy puff pastry recipeTravesseiros de Sintra

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Travesseiros de Sintra - Sintra Pillows

Travesseiros de Sintra – Sintra Pillows

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  • Author: Sylvie Taylor
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 10 1x
  • Category: Pies & Tarts
  • Cuisine: Portuguese Food

Description

Pillows of pastry filled with a ground cinnamon and almond filling that will surprise and delight most who have likely never heard of these, let alone had the luck to taste these.


Ingredients

Scale

300 grams / 1 1/2 cups superfine/caster sugar
100 milliliters / 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
150 grams / 1 1/2 cups almond meal
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
800 grams / 1.75 pounds puff pastry
1 tablespoon superfine/caster sugar


Instructions

  • Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside. Preheat your oven to 220C/430F.
  • Place the sugar and water into a saucepan on medium high heat and cook until the syrup has been simmering and a thin line of hardened sugar forms slowly off your spatula when you pull it out of the syrup (see note), approximately 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the almond meal, egg yolks and ground cinnamon and add to the syrup, combine until smooth and thickened, approximately 2 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool completely.
  • For the pillows, cut your pastry into even squares.
  • Break up the cooled almond filling and spoon into the center of your pastry, along 1 1/2 inches on the long side of your rectangles and 1 inch on the short edges of your rectangle.
  • Fold the long sides of your rectangle pastry over the filling and press down to firm the two layers of pastry on top of the filling.
  • Press the short edges together and your first Sintra pillow is complete. Place onto your prepared baking tray and repeat with the remaining pastry rectangles.
  • Place into the oven to bake until golden, for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the golden pillows and right out of the oven sprinkle the sugar.
  • Serve warm with your favorite tea or coffee on the side.

Notes

Consistency of Syrup: In the translated versions of this recipe I found the literal translation said to cook the syrup until the ‘wire point’ or the ‘yarn point’, which meant nothing. A little search turned up nothing. The best option was to cook the syrup and let it simmer for at least 4 minutes, letting it reduce, but not change color, stirring intermittently and then pull the spatula away and around that point I noticed how a thin line of syrup hardened as it dripped away – the wire point!

Consistency of almond filling: From combining the almond meal and yolks to adding it to the syrup and once it is cooked and cooling, the mixture will clump up which will be hard to spoon up into the center of your pastry so the easiest option is to break up the almond before spooning and this will help you form it it for the filling and then to shape the pastry correctly.

Filling versus amount of pastry: The original recipe results in quite a lot of filling remaining if you only use the suggested 400 grams / 0.8 pounds of puff pastry.

Temperature of puff pastry: The perfect temperature of your puff pastry should be room temperature making it easy to form into the pillows.

Adapted from cybercook

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