Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

by eat in my kitchen

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

No butter and no flour: The traditional Galician Torta de Santiago is only made with almonds, sugar, and eggs plus a little lemon zest and sweet wine for flavouring. Originating in the Middle Ages, when people didn’t really think about gluten-free or butter-free baking, it’s a cake that happens to please even the ones who want to cut down on calories or avoid normal flour in their diet in the year of 2016.

I’m neither of them but I got hooked on the idea of baking a cake with only three main ingredients – about one third of this cake is nuts, the other third is sugar (it’s still a cake) and the rest is eggs, seven to be precise. No baking powder or baking soda. The original Galician tart is more flat than mine – I wanted a juicy cake – and it has a pattern of the Cross of Saint James in the icing, which is where the sweet gets its name from, it translates to Cruz de Santiago. I skipped the religious reference. I also replaced the lemon with blood orange (zest and juice) and left out the wine. Cinnamon crept in instead and gave it a warming, wintery touch. Although this cake may seem quite unspectacular, it tastes wonderful: It’s moist, nutty, and fragrant. The inside is almost fudgy, but before you get there, you have to break the crisp crust. It’s as delicate as the outside of a French macaroon and once you cut through it with a knife, the center of the tart will collapse a little, just a bit, there’s no need to worry. This combination of soft cake and crispiness – apart from its delicious taste of course – is my personal highlight of this Spanish cake classic.

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

 

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

ground almonds (or hazelnuts) 350g / 12 1/2 ounces
freshly grated blood orange zest 2 tablespoons
ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon
organic eggs 7
granulated sugar 350g / 1 3/4 cups
freshly squeezed blood orange juice 2 tablespoon
icing sugar, to dust the cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Butter a 20 cm / 8″ springform pan.

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, zest, and cinnamon.

Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 1 minute until creamy.

Fold the almond mixture along with the orange juice gently into the egg-sugar mixture until just combined. Bake the cake for about 55 minutes or until golden brown and springy on top. Check with a skewer, it should come out almost clean. The centre of the cake will be a bit fudgy. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before you take it out of the pan. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

 

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

 

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