Jose Pizarro’s Tarta de Santiago

 Tarta de Santiago

This delicious treat – now a national favourite – was originally linked to the pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela, which explains why Fidget was up with the lark and anticipating a long trek. A relief, then, to find he didn’t even need to leave the cartoon kitchen…

Jose Pizarro’s Tarta de Santiago

Tarta de Santiago

For this simple classic the Rowes followed Pizarro’s recipe, for which you will need 6 medium eggs, 300g caster sugar, 300g ground almonds, the zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and icing sugar for dusting.

It’s delicious with strawberries and vanilla ice cream; if you want to serve it that way, you need to prepare beforehand – 250g strawberries hulled and halved (or quartered) mixed with 75g caster sugar and 50ml sherry vinegar is Pizarro’s suggestion, but Fidget likes his strawberries mixed with 3tbsp caster sugar and the juice of a lemon. Either way, leave in the fridge (covered) for two hours.

Now the cake: oven pre-heated to 160°/gas mark 3, mix the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, then gently fold in the almonds and lemon zest with a metal spoon.

Pour into a 22cm Ø loose-bottomed tin lined with baking paper and bake for about 50min. Take out and cover with a clean towel (so the cake doesn’t dry out). When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar – traditionalists might like to decorate with a masked imprint of the Cross of Saint James (cruz de Santiago). Serve with the strawberries and ice cream.

It’s seconds all round – no wonder Fidget was ready to go the extra mile for it!