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Bartolillos Recipe - Cream-Filled Spanish Tarts


Bartolillos - Cream-Filled Spanish Tarts

Bartolillos - Cream-Filled Spanish Tarts

Lisa Sierra (c) 2011 Licensed to About.com Inc.
Bartolillos are pastry tarts, shaped like the triangular empanadillas, filled with custard and fried until light and crispy on the outside. Drain, and dust with powdered sugar and serve while still warm. Typically bartolillos are eaten during Holy Week, and are a traditional sweet. They are prepared in convents all over the Iberian Peninsula, although some argue that their origin is actually Arabic.

Although these tarts are tasty by themselves, served alongside fresh strawberries they are divine. The creamy filling is often flavored with a liqueur or a bit of lemon zest.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • Cream Filling:
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 8 oz (250 ml) milk
  • Dough:
  • 4 cups (500 gr) flour
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 gr) butter, softened
  • 8 oz (250 ml) milk
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 24-30 oz vegetable oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting


First make the filling. Beat the egg with 3 tablespoon sugar and the corn starch. Heat 8 oz of the milk until it almost boils. Add the egg mixture, stirring constantly until the filling thickens. Do not allow the mixture to boil. As soon as it thickens, remove from heat.

To make the dough, mix flour, butter, milk, baking powder and rest of sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Continue to mix with your hands until the dough is soft.

Roll out half the dough on a floured cutting board or counter. Fold in half and roll out again. Repeat. Roll out the dough again, adding a bit of milk if dough gets dry.

Fill the bartolillos. Cut into 3-inch squares. Spoon a small amount of filling on each square, then fold in half to form a triangle. Seal edges together using a fork. Place the bartolillos in a single layer onto a plate or cookie sheet until ready to fry. Repeat process with other half of dough.

Fry the bartolillos. Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan to about 400 degrees. Fry the bartolillos in batches until golden. Remove and allow to drain on paper towels. Use a flour sifter to dust lightly with powdered sugar, then serve warm.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with hot coffee or a glass of liqueur, such as Licor 43.

More Fried Spanish Sweets

The following is a list of some of the most typical Spanish desserts, all of which are cooked by frying in hot oil.

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