Pastissos de Moniato

The Region's most typical Christmas sweet is pastís de moniato (sweet potato pastry). Arabic in origin, they are usually made as small pastries and, therefore, are often referred to in the plural, pastissos. The fusion of flavours between the cinnamon and the sweet potato, with a hint of cazalla aniseed liqueur, is a true celebration for the senses.

For the dough: 1/2 glass of high-alcohol cazalla (aniseed spirit), 1/2 glass of olive oil, 1/2 kg. sugar, 3/4 kg. flour, 1 egg. For the filling: 3/4 kg. white sweet potato, 1/4 kg. sugar, cinnamon.
For the filling, boil the sweet potatoes with their skins on. Peel, and scoop the pulp out while still hot and mix with the sugar and a pinch of cinnamon until a thick paste is formed. To make the dough, mix the aniseed spirit and the olive oil together with the sugar in a pot over a low heat. Take care that the high-alcohol spirit does not catch fire. Cover with the lid for a few seconds if it does. When part of the alcohol has evaporated and the sugar has dissolved, add the flour. Mix well to form a paste. This process should last about 20 minutes in all. To make the pastries, the dough should be worked while hot. Spread them out in round portions (using a glass as a mould) on a smooth oiled surface. Fill with the sweet potato paste and close. Seal the ends by crimping with a fork. Brushed over with a beaten egg to achieve a shiny gloss when baked. Place in a pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes at 220º.
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