Kid-friendly Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
over 1,000 kid-approved recipes coming soon! save your flavorites
Recipes
/
Recipe: Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

Recipe: Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

Skip to recipe

Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

Hailing from the charming Portuguese city of Torres Vedras, "Pastel de Feijão" (literally, "bean tart") blends the wholesome nutrition of beans with the allure of a delectable pastry. Inside that golden, flaky crust hides a creamy filling made with mashed beans, eggs, and sugar.

Kids who wrinkle their noses at the thought of beans are often happily surprised by this sweet confection. It's a total game changer, turning steadfast bean skeptics into wide-eyed fans. 

You can pair your tarts with Astonishing Avocado Mousse and Creamy-Dreamy-Greenie Smoothies to add more yummy avocado deliciousness. And, in case anyone asks how to say, "I like beans!" in Portuguese, you can tell them it's "Eu gosto de feijão!"

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • knead :

    to work dough by pushing, pulling, and folding it by hand or with a stand mixer.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Can opener
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Blender (or mixing bowl + immersion blender)
  • Paper cupcake liners
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

  • Dough:
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free flour)**
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C cold water
  • Filling:
  • 1 15-oz can navy beans, or other small white beans, drained and rinsed **(for LEGUME ALLERGY sub 1 15-oz can pumpkin purée)**
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 banana + 1 tsp baking powder)**
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 dash pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free flour. Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. 
  • Legume: For 1 15-oz can navy beans, substitute 1 15-oz can pumpkin purée.
  • Egg: For 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, substitute 1 banana + 1 tsp baking powder.

Instructions

Sweet Portuguese "Pastel de Feijão" Tarts

1.
intro

"Olá" or "Hello" in Portuguese! This week's recipe is a pie made with beans! "Pastel de feijão" (Fay-joh) is a traditional Portuguese dessert. It is made by creating a navy bean jam that's sticky and sweet, similar to the filling in a pecan pie. Then, you fill the simple pie crust with the jam and bake. The end result is a surprisingly sweet and bite-sized pie that will shock you with every bite. By the time you finish your "pastel de feijão," you will ask yourself, "Do I love bean jam?"

2.
measure + mix + knead

Start with the dough. Measure and combine 2 cups flour (reserve a few teaspoons for sprinkling at the end), 1 avocado (pit and peel removed), 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of sugar, and 1/4 cup cold water in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. After the ingredients form a loose ball of dough, dump the contents of the bowl onto a clean counter or cutting board and start kneading. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes or until the dough is springy and not sticky. Set aside to rest.

3.
scrumptious science

In the above step, you are creating gluten. Gluten is a protein strand that forms when glutamate (a precursor to the gluten in flour) mixes with water. The act of mixing the glutamate and water together causes a reaction that results in the creation of gluten. For a moment, compare gluten to a rubber band in your mind. Both are elastic and stretchy and snap back to their original shape. These qualities are great for making cakes and other pastries. Without gluten (or a substitute), you will find a spongy, fluffy texture missing from your dish.

4.
drain + blend

Drain and rinse 1 can of beans. Measure and combine the beans, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk (discard egg white or save for another recipe), 3/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 dash of vanilla extract in a blender (or mixing bowl for use with an immersion blender). Blend for 3 minutes to fully combine the ingredients, especially the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch.

5.
preheat + bake

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line the muffin pan wells with cupcake liners. Press 1 tablespoon of dough into each. You want to make a cup shape by squishing the dough into shape with your fingers. Then, fill each tart shell with the bean filling (about 1 to 2 tablespoons per tart shell). The final step, keeping with tradition, is to sprinkle a dusting of flour over the top of each tart, just a thin layer of flour, not too much. Slide the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

6.
serve

Serve these tasty bean tarts alongside Astonishing Avocado Mousse for a creamy alternative to whipped cream!

Surprise Ingredient: Avocado!

back to recipe
Photo by Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Avocado!

"Hola! (Hello!) My name is Avocado, and I'm so happy to be an ingredient in your dish! Avocados can be sliced or chopped and presented naturally, or you can mash us and add lime or lemon juice, salt, cilantro, garlic, onions, jalapeños, and other seasonings to make Guacamole! The citrus juice provides flavor and also keeps us from turning brown in the air. Did you know that avocados are sometimes called Alligator Pears due to our pear-like shape and green skin?"

History

  • Avocados originated in Mexico and Central America, where Spanish is the national language. Their history dates back 7,000 years. Avocado in Spanish is “aguacate!”
  • Avocados are now popular all over the globe and are used in all types of recipes! Most of our avocados are grown in Mexico and California. Avocado trees grow best in mild, warm climates with moderate humidity. They don't like cold weather.
  • The most popular avocado is the "Hass." All Hass avocados are descendants of a "mother tree" that grew in the backyard of a man's house in California.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Avocados have a seed or pit! Botanically speaking, that makes them a fruit! So, technically, avocados are berries. Berry interesting, no?
  • Avocados come in different shapes, from oval to pear, depending on the variety. The skin looks like fine leather, which helps them to withstand the fierce Mexican sun. It's not edible and is durable enough to protect the ripening avocado flesh inside.
  • Some have smooth skin, while others have a rougher, more pebbled appearance. Most are glossy green, while a few varieties turn purplish-black when ripe. But regardless of the exterior, all have a large, inedible seed surrounded by the soft, buttery, creamy-white to greenish-yellow flesh on the inside, with a delicate nutty taste! 
  • The word "avocado" comes from the mid-17th century Spanish "aguacate," from the Nahuatl "ahuacatl," which has been combined with other words, such as "ahuacamolli," meaning avocado soup or sauce. That is how we get the word "guacamole." 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Avocados grow on big evergreen trees with a beautiful crown of smooth, glossy, dark green leaves that shade the avocados from the sun. Avocados mature slowly and steadily on the tree but put off ripening until picked. One tree can produce 150 to 500 avocados per year.  
  • Avocado trees grow best in mild, warm climates with moderate humidity. They don’t like cold weather.  
  • How to properly peel an avocado: The method you use to peel an avocado can make a difference to your health. Research has shown that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin. Therefore, you don't want to slice into that dark green portion any more than necessary when peeling an avocado. For this reason, the best method is what the California Avocado Commission has called the "nick and peel" method. In this method, you peel the avocado with your hands in the same way you would peel a banana. The first step in the nick-and-peel method is to cut into the avocado lengthwise, producing two long avocado halves that are still connected in the middle by the seed. Next, you take hold of both halves and twist them in opposite directions until they naturally separate. At this point, remove the seed and cut each of the halves lengthwise to produce long quartered sections of the avocado. Finally, use your thumb and index finger to grip the edge of the skin on each quarter and peel it off, just as you would do with a banana skin. The result is a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh that is so rich in carotenoid antioxidants!
  • Avocado is delicious mashed and spread on toast, chopped and added to salsas, sliced and fanned across salads, and diced and added to soups. In addition, avocado can be breaded and fried and stuffed into tacos, mashed or whipped and added to desserts (like cakes and puddings (yum!), and, of course, used as a base for countless varieties of guacamole.

Nutrition

  • Good fat! Avocado is one of only a few fruits to contain fat—the special kind that’s really good for you and keeps you healthy. It’s a source of essential fatty acids and is mostly the same kind of healthy fat found in olive oil. What body part needs this type of fat?! The brain!
  • Vitamin E keeps our blood healthy! 
  • B Vitamins help our bodies make energy!
  • Fiber helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and fight heart disease!
  • The most nutrition in an avocado is the part of the flesh that’s closest to the peel! This darker green flesh has particular nutrients called carotenoids. The Guinness Book of World Records calls the Avocado the most nutritious fruit known to man!

 

What is "Pastel de Feijão"?

Photo by rfranca/Shutterstock.com
  • "Pastel de feijão" is a Portuguese dessert consisting of a crisp tart dough and a navy bean jam filling. The Portuguese word "pastel" is "fried pastry" in English, and "feijão" means "bean." 
  • Nuns may have first made the bean pastry. It was introduced in the late 19th century in Torres Vedras, a town near Lisbon, Portugal.  
  • In addition to navy beans, the filling contains ground almonds, eggs, and sugar. "Pastel de feijão" has a creamy consistency; you wouldn't know it is made with beans!

Let's Learn About Portugal!

Photo by Carlos Caetano/Shutterstock.com
  • Portugal is on the western coast of the European continent, on the Iberian peninsula, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Spain. Portuguese is the official language. It is also the official language of nine other countries, including Brazil.
  • Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the world. Unfortunately, it suffered a major earthquake in 1755, which devastated the city and caused it to lose much of its wealth and status.  
  • The oldest bookstore in the world, Livreria Bertrand, is located in Lisbon. The original store was opened in 1732. However, when the earthquake hit, it leveled most of the city, including Livreria Bertrand. Although the original French founder's son-in-law had to resettle the shop in a different part of the city, it is still considered the oldest standing bookstore in the world.
  • The art of tile painting and glazing, known as "azulejo," is one of Portugal's most popular art forms. The use of these tiles for building interiors and exteriors began in the 1500s and is still practiced by artisans today.
  • Lisbon has the longest bridge in Europe. The Vasco da Gama bridge is over 10 miles long.
  • Portugal is famous for its surfing. They say you can surf 364 days a year there. In other words, year-round!
  • Common animals found in Portugal are boars, wild goats, fallow deer, foxes, and Iberian hares. 
  • Have you ever wondered where vegetables, fruits, and spices came from originally? Of course, they all came from somewhere, and at some point in history, a group of explorers or conquerors would have carried native ingredients with them and introduced them to the people of other lands. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers dominated the spice routes around the world—exploring, navigating, and bringing new ingredients back and forth between continents. For example, the Portuguese brought chili peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes to India. They also introduced coffee to Brazil.
  • You may have heard of Ferdinand Magellan, one of the most famous Portuguese explorers. He set out to discover a western route to the Spice Islands. Known as the Maluku Islands, east of Indonesia, they were called the Spice Islands because nutmeg, mace, and cloves were only found there. Magellan was the first from Europe to cross the Pacific Ocean. The trip was long and dangerous, and only one out of their five ships returned three years later! Nevertheless, Magellan's voyage proved that the Earth could be circumnavigated (circled) by sea and that it was much bigger than anyone had initially thought.
  • The Portuguese love to eat cod, particularly dried, salted cod, known as "bacalhau." Salting the fish is a traditional way of preserving it. They have a different way of preparing cod for every day of the year!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Portugal?

  • Family is foundational to life in Portugal, and family relationships are essential. Grandparents often help out with watching kids and may live in the same home with their grandchildren.
  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport for kids. They also like to swim, ride bikes, and play basketball and futsal (a soccer-like game played on an indoor court). 
  • Children go to Portugal's beautiful beaches with their families, and older kids may surf. Other kid-friendly activities include trips to zoos, aquariums, and museums.
  • Some of the snacks Portuguese kids like to eat are Pastéis de Nata (egg custard tart), Sugus (chewy fruit candies similar to Starburst), Línguas de Gato (buttery, crunchy cookies shaped like cat tongues), Confeitos (confectionary) candy, Rissóis de Camarão (breaded shrimp patties), Sombrinhas de Chocolate (chocolate umbrellas), Arroz Doce (sweet rice), Bolinhos de Bacalhau (codfish cakes or fritters), Pão de Ló (sponge cake), Sumol (fruit soda), and Pintarolas (chocolates with a colorful, fruit-flavored coating, similar to M&Ms).

THYME for a Laugh

What kinds of beans can’t grow in a garden? 

Jelly Beans!

THYME for a Laugh

"Knock, knock!"

"Who's there?"

"Bean."

"Bean who?"

"It’s Bean a while since I last had a brownie!"

Lettuce Joke Around

Why do avocados get sad?

Because they feel pit-iful!

Lettuce Joke Around

What bean is the most intelligent? 

The Human Bean!

That's Berry Funny

What do you say to an avocado who’s done a good job?

"Bravocado!"

Shop Our Cookbooks

Now available on Amazon! Our cookbooks feature kid-tested recipes that build confidence in the kitchen. Expand your child's palate and spark a love of healthy foods with a Sticky Fingers Cooking cookbook.
SHOP NOW

Subscribe to the Sticky Fingers Cooking mailing list

Subscribe to our newsletter, The Turnip, to receive exclusive discounts and updates, insider tips + tricks from our awesome team, and instant access to the Sticky Fingers Cooking Starter Kit for free!

"
X
Souper popular!
11 people registered for a session in the last 24 hours