This weekend I’m feeling kind of nostalgic about Spain. Since I’ve told you in previous post, I lived for 7 months in Madrid last year, and it was one of the best experiences ever. While I was there, I had the opportunity to visit Santiago the Compostela, and during my visit, some friends convinced me to do the Camino de Santiago, a really famous peregrination. Pilgrims have walked this way since the 9th century… is impressive. So, above, a picture of me as a happy pilgrim before start walking 110 km from Tui to Santiago.
Because this trip has been very enriching, I will dedicate a special post to my experience as a pilgrim… but now I’m gonna talk about: Tarta de Santiago.
Tarta de Santiago is something that you must try if you go Santiago de Compostela, is an iconic dessert there. This tart is so famous and so traditional, that in 2010, Tarta de Santiago obtained the Protected Geographical Indication, covering the entire area of the Autonomous Community of Galicia.
So, if you want to make the original Tarta de Santiago, the EU stated that your Tarta must contain:
- 33% of the total weight of the mix must come from almonds. But not all almonds qualify! they have to be the following varieties: ‘Comuna’ ‘Marcona’ ‘Mollar’ ‘Largueta’ and ‘Planeta’ (al off them are mediterrean varieties).
- 33% of the total weight mix must come from sugar
- At least 25% of the total weight mix must come from eggs
- Decoration must includes the “Cruz de Santiago”
- Of course, you have to do it in Galicia. If you do it anywhere else, your tart can’t be named Torta de Santiago, though this is for comercial purposes. You can name it Torta de Santiago, but you can’t sell it with this name,
Tarta de Santiago is one of the oldest traditional specialities of Galician baking. It dates from 1577, with the visit of Don Pedro Portocarrrero, despite he called this tart “Torta Real”. Please note that at this time almonds were only for the “higher class” (not to far from today’s reality!), so that it was a delicacy that not all the people could afford. Latter on, Torta de Santiago became very popular because of all pilgrims that year after year walked the Way of Santiago.
Now a days, Torta de Santiago is a culinary legacy. Those who have tried it directly from Galician bakers have taste a piece of history! And those who have not had the pleasure… don’t worry, is not a difficult recipe at all.
- 250 ground almonds
- 250 sugar
- 5 eggs
- Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Optional: any additional spice you may want to add
How to do it
- Pre-heat oven at 180 C (or 350 F)
- Mix ground almonds with sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and spices (if wanted).
- Whisk 5 eggs in a bowl (just a little bit).
- Whisk eggs into dry ingredients.
- Grease a springform pan with detachable bottom, and put the mix in.
- Bake for 50 minutos or til top of the cake appears golden (though my electric oven took like one and a half hour!.. be patient with this cake)
- Enjoy with company and a cup of coffee 🙂
A few tips from my little experience:
- I usually buy whole almonds and ground them perfectly in my common or garden Oster blender.
- From the 250 g of almonds, i separate about 70 or 80 g and chop them in small pieces. This way, you can feel almonds while you eat a piece of cake, though there are some people who hates this feeling, so it’s up to you!
- The tart doesn’t have a bready consistency, unlike, its a lumpy cake!
- It may take a little bit more than 50 minutes to cook in an electric oven.
Andrade A. (2009). La Tarta de Santiago recibe la protección de la UE, que data su origen en Galicia en torno al año 1577. La Voz de Galicia. Reviewed at http://goo.gl/ECKtlo
Oficial Journey of the European Union (2009). Council Regulation (EC) nO. 510/2006 ‘Tarta de Santiago. Reviewed at http://goo.gl/QVtV0g