Spanish Recipes: Tarta de Santiago

Tarta de Santiago

What awaits weary pilgrims, as they arrive in Santiago de Compostela? Well, this typical dessert of Galicia (and Santiago de Compostela in particular), for one thing. This tasty sweet is a wonderful way to celebrate the end of a pilgrimage in Spain or the end of a meal shared with friends in your home country. When well made, Tarta de Santiago has a spongy texture and a delicate almond taste.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 4 eggs
  • 250g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds
  • 250g (1 1/8 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Grated lemon rind
  • 100g (7/8 cup) flour
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar

PREPARATION:

  1. Work the dough with a rolling pin until it is as fine as possible – practically transparent. Spread the dough in a ceramic or glass serving dish (or any heat resistant mould) previously coated with butter or margarine.
  2. Beat the eggs well with the sugar, then add the ground almonds, cinnamon and lemon rind. Spread this “dough” of almonds on top of the layer of flour dough in the mould. Heat in a moderate oven (180º C) for 45 minutes, or until the surface has browned.
  3. To finish, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Traditionally the dessert is topped off with the image of a concha – the pilgrim’s scallop shell – or the cross of the Order of Santiago, drawn in cinnamon atop the tarta.