TRUTAS
(FRIED PORTUGESE PASTRIES)

Makes 10 dozen

Trutas are a Portuguese pastry made at Christmas. In fact it can’t be Christmas without trutas. Back in the day when my friend, Doreen Kelly Alsen was growing up in Provincetown, MA, she said that Portuguese housewives would get together and make them and give them away. Doreen said that she was lucky that one of those generous women was a friend, named Ofelia Costa, who made sure that her family was supplied with trutas! This is Ofelia’s recipe:

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
4 lbs.  sweet potatoes cooked and peeled
1 1/2 tsps. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 cup sugar

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY:
4 lbs. flour, not self-rising
1 cup sugar
1 lb. butter
1 lb. lard (do not use vegetable shortening)
1 1/2 cups warm orange juice
2 jiggers whisky mixed in one cup warm water

    MAKE THE FILLING:
  • Mash the sweet potatoes and mix them with all the other ingredients in a pan.
  • Stir over a low fire until the sugar dissolves. Taste to see if you need more sugar.
  • Stir constantly so the potato won’t stick or burn.
    MAKE THE PASTRY:
  • Melt the butter and lard together
  • Put the flour in a deep pan and make a well in the flour with your hands and place all the other ingredients in the well.
  • Work the dough with your hands until it feels soft and leaves the side of the pan.
  • Roll the dough on a pastry board until fairly thin. Cut out circles with a 3” pastry cutter and place a tbs. of the filling in each dough circle.
  • Fold the dough over like it’s a turnover and use a pastry wheel to close each one. Press down hard so the truta won’t open when being deep fried.
    THEN:
  • Deep fry the trutas in deep fat, drain, and let them cool.
  • Sprinkle the cool trutas with confectioner’s sugar.