Manoletes, Cordovan pie

Manoletes, Cordovan pie

Eva 5 febrero, 2023
Este post también está disponible en Spanish

It had been a long time since I had prepared puff pastry at home and, to tell you the truth, I really wanted to do it again. I had this recipe in my head for a long time and, before the cold weather sets in, I have taken the opportunity to make it and bring it to you. Get ready to enjoy these wonderful Manoletes, a Cordovan pie filled with candied spaghetti squash and Serrano ham.

Yes, I know. I thought the same when I saw them. Candied spaghetti squash and Serrano ham? Yes, there is a pastry with such a particular filling and I want to tell you that the result is wonderful. Personally, it reminds me a lot of melon with Serrano ham (it’s a common recipe here, in Spain). Only in this case the sweetness is greater and it is accompanied by puff pastry… Pure lust. But we have to spoil ourselves and enjoy something like this, even if it’s only once in a while.

I know I’ve been bringing you some very classic or traditional recipes for a few weeks now. But I wanted to increase the recipe book with this type of recipes to avoid, as far as possible, that they get lost and, above all, make them known to everyone. These things are always appreciated, at least for me, there is nothing better than knowing different elaborations from around the world.

Manoletes, Cordovan pie
Manoletes origin.

Or perhaps we should talk about the origin of the famous Pastel Cordobésor Pastelón. This elaboration is one of the most characteristic elements of Cordovan gastronomy. It is a pie made with puff pastry and a filling of candied spaghetti squash (cidra), decorated with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

Although it can be found and consumed throughout the year, it is traditionally prepared for the feast of St. Acisclo and St. Victoria, which is celebrated on November 16-17. Both were the first martyrs of Cordoba, at the beginning of the 4th century, later named as Patron Saints. It is also traditionally consumed on the day of Saint Raphael.

On November 17, 313, according to the act that is preserved in the library of the Convent of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo (although there are authors who differ in dates and believe that this act could happen in the years 204, 229 or 311) San Acisclo was beheaded on the banks of the river, while Santa Victoria was sacrificed in the Roman amphitheater for not wanting to renounce the Christian faith.

In the place of his martyrdom the convent of the Holy Martyrs was built. Later, over this convent in ruins, the neogothic hermitage of the Santos Mártires was erected in 1881. In 1949 this hermitage was declared Spanish Historical Heritage.

It is known that the origin of this elaboration took place during the period of Muslim occupation.

When the city was the center of the Caliphate of Córdoba. Later, in the Christian era, it began to be made with lard and in the nineteenth century or early twentieth century, the Cordovan bakers began to incorporate Serrano or Iberian ham accompanying the candied spaghetti squash.

On the other hand, it is said that this puff pastry was created by two confectioners: Alejandra and Francisca, and thanks to its success, it spread throughout the pastry guild until it became very popular.

Manoletes, Cordovan pie
A smaller format that gave rise to the Manoletes.

It seems that the bullfighter Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez “Manolete”, was passionate about the famous pastelón or Cordovan cake. He was in the habit of ordering almost every day a subaltern to bring him a small version of this cake that was made in the confectionery pastry shop “Mirita“, a bakery that today is closed. This person, upon arriving at the bakery, would say: – “One for Manolete” – to which he could not understand what sweet he wanted. Finally, he kept this name.

There is another version shared by Rafael Jordano, former Director of the Andalusian Gastronomy Chair at the University of Cordoba, in which he says that the bullfighter had tasted in Mexico a sweet with a similar flavor to the Cordovan pie called Chilacayote (cidra or candied spaghetti squash).

The bullfighter wanted to take some pieces of Cordovan pie to his Mexican friends so they could taste it. To facilitate transportation during the trip to America, José Delgado, Casa Mirita’s pastry chef, prepared individual portions. In homage to the bullfighter, he gave them his name, Manoletes.

From that moment on, he continued making this cake in this small format to sell them in his establishment and, with time, it was extended to the rest of the bakeries.

As time went by, more innovative creations arrived.

Among them, the version I share with you today with Serrano ham. Although we can also find it with smoked salmon or sprinkled with nuts, especially almonds and pine nuts. It seems that the latest innovation has incorporated chocolate.

For several years, a gastronomic initiative was held in Cordoba organized by the Diario CÓRDOBA with the support of the Cordoba City Council and the Provincial Association of Pastry and Confectionery. A large Cordovan cake, about 7 meters in diameter, was made and distributed among thousands of Cordobeses, together with liquors from Rute and milk drinks, donations from different companies in Cordoba and the province.

To make this Cordovan pie in its smallest format, Manolete, we will prepare a blitz puff pastry. You will see how easy it is to do it and the good results we will obtain. I gave it to you for the first time in the Carbayones recipe and, since then, I have used it in many other recipes. Of course, if you want to make the classic and traditional puff pastry, you can do it following this recipe.

I have pending to leave you the recipe to make homemade candied spaghetti squash…. I know it is an elaboration that I owe you and I will leave you for sure.

Recipe Manoletes, Cordovan pie

Ingredients for 5 pieces


  • 230 g cake/pastry flour, cold + 20 g for sprinkle
  • 230 g unsalted butter, cold
  • 100 g very cold water, from the fridge
  • 5 g sugar
  • 4 g salt


  • 700-750 g candied spaghetti squash
  • Serrano ham, to taste


  • 2 yolks + pinch of salt
  • 50 g sugar + cinnamon to taste


  • stand mixer/kneader
  • marble roller or metal roller
  • scraper
  • racks
  • trays
  • silpat or teflon


Make the dough for blitz puff pastry.
  1. In the KitchenAid bowl add the flour along with the salt, sugar and butter cut into cubes.
  2. Mix with the flat beater at speed 1 until you get a sandy mixture. It will take about 30-40 seconds.
  3. Pour the cold water and mix again until it integrates, it will take about 30-40 seconds. We don't have to work too much on the mix, just until we get the consistency I show you in the video. As you can see, sandy.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a work surface and compact until forming a square.
  5. Cover with film and store in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Work the dough and make the first and second fold.
  1. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour.
  2. Roll out the dough with a metal rolling pin. At the beginning you will notice that it is a dough that cracks easily, that´s ok. As we make the folds, its consistency will improve.
  3. Make the first simple fold.
  4. Sprinkle the working table with flour and stretch the dough again.
  5. Before beginning to stretch it, we will press with the rolling pin by all the surface of the dough creating a perpendicular pattern (I show it to you in the video). This step facilitates that when stretching the dough the form is maintained without creating different proportions in both ends.
  6. From time to time we will check that the dough does not adhere to the work surface. For it we will raise the dough with care. If it adheres, sprinkle lightly with flour and continue working.
  7. Make the second simple fold.
  8. Cover the dough with film, put it in a bag and keep it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Make the third and fourth fold.
  1. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour.
  2. Stretch the dough in the same way as before.
  3. Make the third simple fold.
  4. Cover with film, place in a bag and store in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Finally, make the fourth and last fold of the dough.
  6. We will proceed to do it the same as the previous times. At the end, store in the freezer wrapped in film and in a bag for 30 minutes.
Stretch the dough and place it in the molds.
  1. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour.
  2. Stretch the dough, on this occasion we will do it until we achieve dimensions about 90 x 40 cm or two pieces of 45 x 20 cm, more or less.
  3. With the help of a round cutter or a dessert or coffee plate, cut 10 circles. Place the plate on the puff pastry dough and, with the help of a knife, cut the circles. Try to make a clean cut, whenever possible.
  4. In the first roll of dough, you will not be able to cut all the circles we need to form the Manoletes. We must reassemble the scraps of puff pastry and stretch again to cut the rest of the pieces we need.
  5. Arrange the filling on the puff pastry discs, place a layer of angel hair leaving about 2.5 cm from the edge without filling. The amount of filling will be according to your taste. In my case I like it very much and, as you can see in the video, I fill it with a generous layer.
  6. On top of candied squash, place Serrano ham. I advise you to place it in pieces so that when cutting the Manolete, it is easier.
    Manoletes, Cordovan pie
  7. Once the filling is on the puff pastry disc, cover with another puff pastry piece. Seal the edges and, if desired, make a "repulgue". In this way it will be more striking. But in case you find it laborious, you can seal it the way you prefer.
  8. Prick the surface with the help of a knife, in this way we allow the steam to escape during baking.
  9. Place the pieces on perforated trays with silpat or Teflon.
  10. Brush the surface with beaten egg yolk with a pinch of salt and refrigerate for one hour.
  11. NOTE: If during the forming process, we observe that the puff pastry loses temperature, I advise you to refrigerate the pieces for 30 minutes. Especially in the step in which we make the repulgue. After refrigerating the pieces, you will be able to handle the dough much better.
  1. Preheat oven to 374ºF/190ºC.
  2. Brush the surface of the Manoletes, again, with beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  3. Place in the oven at medium height and bake for 10 minutes. After this time, reduce the temperature to 338ºF/170ºC and bake for 20 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Serve.
    Manoletes, Cordovan pie


  • To make quick/blitz puff pastry, ideally, all ingredients should be cold. With the mixing the temperature rises and we want to keep the dough cold, as much as possible.
  • Butter brings a lot of flavor, I recommend you to use a good one quality.
  • Do not overmix the ingredients more than I detail in the process and show you in the video.
  • Respect all the rest times to achieve a good result.
  • In case you don't want to make puff pastry, you can buy it... But the homemade one is very good!
    Manoletes, Cordovan pie
  • If you want to make puff pastry in the traditional way, I remind you this post where I show you how to do it.
  • The size of the Manoletes is usually about 12 cm in diameter, once baked, but of course you can adjust the size if you wish.
  • Serrano ham is not mandatory, in fact this pastry can be filled only with candied spaghetti squash or with the combination of this and ham. So you can choose the option you like best.
  • Traditionally, they are not brushed with egg yolk. It is possible that they do it with milk and then sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. In my case I have opted for yolk, which can be replaced by beaten egg, because I like the golden and crispy finish on the puff pastry. But it is good to know all the options and choose the one you like best.
  • It is traditional to sprinkle them with the sugar and cinnamon mixture, but you can always omit the cinnamon if you don't like it.
  • We can keep them in an airtight container for 2-3 days if they contain Serrano ham. In case of making them only with candied spaghetti squash, we can keep them for 7-10 days in an airtight container.
    Manoletes, Cordovan pie

I know that for those who are not very fond of candied spaghetti squash, this preparation will not capture your attention.... But for those who do, you are going to love it. These Manoletes are one of those classic, traditional creations that are hard to get tired of.

I have tried to keep the recipe as simple as possible. Although, of course, it is much easier to buy the puff pastry already made, hahaha. But you know that I always try to leave you the recipes trying to make at home as many elaborations as possible. And, to make it more bearable, this quick puff pastry is great, besides giving very good results.

I look forward to seeing your creations! You know that I am very excited to see everything you do.

I wish you a wonderful Sunday! Love,

Sources:Sabores de Córdoba, Mi Cocina y otras cosas

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