A few years ago, Stephen and I visited Spain. It was quite an experience. I had enough of a working knowledge of Spanish, gained through many increasingly distant years studying the language, and Stephen, a merchant marine, had all kinds of expereince getting by in foreign environments without language proficiency. Of course, one of the most unforgettable things for both of us was the food. Spain is well known for its cuisine, particularly its Tapas (Pintxos in the Basque Country we visited). Stephen is a huge fan of anything produced by a bakery, and, after visiting one, we were acquainted with a Basque glaceau that was really unforgettable–a sweet pastry with a custard filling.
It came as no surprise to either of us that bookstores sold view volumes in English. Stephen managed to find a Basque cuisine cookbook in English–probably the only one on offer in the city. I have to admit that I didn’t take a close look at it right away. A few months ago, I pulled it out and flipped through the recipes. Stephen was away, and I wanted to try to cook something new and different (and, living in Miami, it is easier to find certain ingredients here). When I opened the book to the “Desserts” section, lo and behold, the Basque glaceau was one of the recipes.
The most amazing part of the recipe is the crust–it is butter-based, sweet, and calls for lemon zest. The only problem is the quantity of butter–it is such a large portion of the recipe that the crust literally falls apart whenever you try and fit the pie-like form together. Today, I tried to bake it into a crust for a blueberry pie. Although it was, again, difficult to put together, I do think it came out. We’ll see tomorrow–the pie is for an impromptu dinner with my advisor and a few members of his family (a big reason why it NEEDS to be good!).
From Spain–an amazing trip!