Tarta de Santiago is a delicious almond cake typical from Galicia. It is named in honor of Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of Spain. It is really easy, it consists of mixing a pastry with almonds, eggs and sugar, and then baking.
- 250 g/ ½ lb whole almonds (preferably blanched)
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 250 g/ ½ lb sugar
- ½ lemon zest
- ½ tsp powdered cinnamon (optional)
- Butter, for greasing
- Powdered sugar, to decorate
- Finely grind half of the almonds with a food processor, until they are almost almond flour. Grind the other half thicker so that you can feel the almond grain when eating.
- If using raw almonds, bake in the oven at 120 ºC (248 ºF) for 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool.
- Put the sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs with the sugar using an electric mixer until they turn into a thick, smooth and pale cream.
- Wash and dry the lemon. Grate half of the lemon and add the zest to the bowl. Add the cinnamon (if desired) and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- When cool, add the almonds to the bowl. Stir thoroughly until everything is well mixed.
- Preheat the oven at 180 ºC (356 ºF). Grease an 11-inch springform pan with butter and dust it with flour. Pour in the mixture and bake for 35 minutes. Cover the surface of the cake with aluminum foil for the last ten minutes to prevent it from getting burn.
- To check if it’s baked, insert a fork in the middle of the cake; the cake is baked if the fork comes out clean. Let cool before turning out.
- To decorate, sprinkle powdered sugar on the top of the cake before serving. If you prefer to follow the tradition, cut a St. James cross out of paper, place it in the middle of the cake and dust the top with powdered sugar. Then, remove the paper.