Catholic Recipe: Almond Torte from Santiago de la Compostela
Also Called: Torta de Almendras de Santiago
This recipe is from My Kitchen in Spain by Janet Mendel. Using a bag of ground almond meal the tart shouldn’t be too time-consuming. Almonds don’t grow in this area of Spain, so it is a puzzlement that this cake is made with them. Mendel speculates that it originally might have been made from chestnuts.
The torte is usually decorated with a pattern of the Cross of St. James or the cockle shell, both symbols of St. James.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.
Spread the almonds in a baking pan and toast them in the oven, stirring often. Remove from oven when light colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Give time to cool.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat, one at a time. Gradually stir in the flour, the almond meal and lemon zest.
Pour mixture into the greased pan and bake about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester in the center comes out clean and the center when lightly pressed bounces back.
Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Poke the surface of the torte with a skewer and drizzle with lemon juice over the top. Add the pattern of the cross and dust the surface with confectioner’s sugar.Recipe Source: My Kitchen in Spain by Janet Mendel, William Morrow Cookbooks, 2002