Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pastéis de Belém (Egg Tart Pastry) - 1 of 2



At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, in Belém, next to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery) there was a sugar cane refinery linked to a small general store. As a result of the liberal revolution of 1820, all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down in 1834, the clergy and labourers expelled. 
In an attempt at survival, someone from the monastery offered sweet pastries for sale in the shop; pastries that rapidly became known as 'Pastéis de Belém'. 
At that period the area of Belém was still far from the city of Lisbon and could be reached by steam-boats. At the same time, the grandeur of the monastery and the Torre de Belém (the Belém Tower) attracted visitors who soon grew used to savouring the delicious pastries originated in the monastery. In 1837, the baking of the 'Pastéis de Belém' was begun in buildings joined to the refinery, following the ancient 'secret recipe' from the monastery. Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in the 'secrets room', this recipe remained unchanged to the present day. 
In fact, the only true 'Pastéis de Belém' contrive, by means of ascrupulous selection of ingredients, to offer even today the flavour of the time-honoured Portuguese sweetmaking. 
(www.pasteisdebelem.pt)

18 comments:

biebkriebels said...

Love those pasteis of Portugal.

Existe Sempre Um Lugar said...

Bom dia, desejo-lhe uma santa Pascoa junto com a sua família.
AG

Birdman said...

That's a lot of information this early. Got a chocolate bunny?

Rhodesia said...

Love that ceiling it is beautiful. Thanks for the info. Happy Easter Diane

EG CameraGirl said...

I didn't know about this time in Portuguese history! Fascinating! The sweets do sound scrumptious!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh for a minute there I thought you were going to give us the recipe Jose :) or should I say I was hoping!

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes! Like EG I didn't know about this time in Portuguese history either and it is fascinating indeed!! I would really enjoy having some of those pastries on this gray and chilly morning!! Great post as always, Jose!! Thank you for sharing!

VP said...

A very interesting story and a really lovely place!

Fotolosopher said...

A very interesting story. I'd love to try one of the pastries!

cieldequimper said...

That's an incredible story!

Happy Easter!

RedPat said...

Beautiful place! Are these the wonderful custard tarts we get in Portuguese bakeries over here?

FotoMarg said...

They make the best Pastéis de Belém anywhere. Other bakeries either get the pastry right or the filling right, but not both together. It's good to read the history behind them.

Bob Crowe said...

From the look it could also be a sherry bar. Maybe a sweet sherry would go with the pastries.

By the way, check out http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/travel/-2015-04-05-travel-what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-lisbon.html?ref=travel.

Randy said...

Nothing like a good pastry.

Aimeecakes said...

Very interesting! And I would quite like one of those pastries now...

Halcyon said...

What a beautiful cafe! I love that ceiling...

Jack said...

It is an elegant place. I will try a pastry.

William Kendall said...

Quite a setting for pastry!