This recipe comes from Margarette de Andrade’s Brazilian Cookery (an excellent book, and the one to buy if you only can have one book on Brazilian food). She lived in Brazil for over 40 years, and the book is very well researched, written in English and indexed in both Portuguese and English.

For the pastry, Massa Podre:

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons lard
3 egg yolks
1-2 tablespoons water

Make a mound of the flour and salt and scoop out a well. Pour melted shortening and egg yolks into the well and work with the fingertips. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons cold water to make a pastry. Handle only enough to mix. Cover and let stand 1 hour before shaping and pressing into empadinha tins. Yields approximately 28 empadinhas.

I had to add a considerable amount of water, more than 1-2 tablespoons, to make this dough come together.

What is “massa podre”? A pastry crust is made with a higher proportion of fat and contains no raising agent to make it rise and expand during baking, according to Brazilian Maura Paoletti

Aisa had to take over the filling and baking of these empadinhas as I had to take her dad to the doctor, so I showed her this pic to help guide her and let her decide how she’ll do it.

For the filling, we used

Sardine Filling / Recheio de Sardinhas (also from Ms. de Andrade’s book):

2 cans sardines
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 minced onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced palm hearts
3 stuffed olives
2 sliced hard-boiled eggs

Drain oil from sardines. Mash and add lemon juice. Fry onion and parsley in oil in a skillet and when onion begins to brown, add the tomato paste and water and simmer until most of liquid has evaporated. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne or Tabasco sauce and allow to cool. When mixture is cold, add the palm hearts, sliced olives, eggs, and mashed sardinese. Yields 2 1/2 cups.

– The cheese filling on the same page looks mighty tempting as well.
– In the Philippines we have a *sweet* pastry called masa podrida. I haven’t found out why “rotten mass” would be an appropriate description for these rich pastries.