I’m a big fan of any sweet that is soaked in honey– and luckily Andalusian cuisine includes quite a few! I’d tasted honey soaked torrijas (similar to French toast) and pestiños (aniseed infused fritters topped with honey or sugar), but I’d never even heard of the delicious tortas de la abuela (Granny fritters as I like to say!) until my mother-in-law made them the other day. This recipe is as easy as can be, and worth a try at Easter time!
- 250g of flour (a heaping 2 cups)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ cup of dry white wine
- 16g of baking powder (this is one packet in Spain, about 2 Tablespoons)
- 125g of olive oil (I use an extra virgin like arbequina) -- (about ½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons of anise liquor (optional and can substitute other liquors (orange or rum, for example)
- 1 lemon peel (this is actually to infuse the olive oil-- see instructions below)
- ½ cup honey (you might need more)
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons of water
- First, infuse the olive oil with the lemon peel and liquor. In a small saucepan combine the oil with the lemon peel and liquor. Slowly heat until the lemon peel begins to brown. Turn off the heat and let cool completely. Strain before using.
- To prepare the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, orange juice, white wine, and infused oil in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until you can no longer blend, and then mix with your hands until the dough is evenly blended.
- Cover the bowl of dough with the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- After it's rested, heat a frying pan with olive oil (again-- I use EVOO, generally a one with a high smoke point like Picual). Alongside in another pan, slowly heat the honey, sugar, and water.
- Knead the dough a few times. Roll out walnut sized chunks until they are thin (not translucent, however).
- Fry each sheet in the hot oil until golden (turning halfway through) and then remove with a slotted spoon and douse in the hot honey.
- Remove and place on a serving plate, making layer upon layer as you continue this process.
The only danger of this recipe is that these tortas disappear quickly! I think I ate five before I’d even realized it…
Don’t miss my recipe for Spanish torrijas as well– between the two you’ll be all set for Lent pastries in Spain!
Need more recipes for Lent? Check out my meatless Lent recipes here!