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Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Tortitas de Carnaval (Carnival Pancakes)

Tortitas de Carnaval

Whilst I've made Torrijas or Rebanadas de carnaval (basically French Toast), those are only one of a whole range of carnival delicacies in the Canary Islands designed to use up those last bits of "naughty food" before Lent. And one that is quite close to the tradition of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday are these Tortitas de Carnaval (Carnival Pancakes).

Despite its name, this dessert is not made only during carnival, but has become popular at any time. The recipe is rooted in the days when, for carnival, people dressed in old clothes (men as women and women as men) and went from house to house where they were offered carnival tortillas and arroz con leche (rice pudding). The children disguised themselves during the day and went knocking door to door to ask for eggs to make the famous tortillas, a tradition that is still maintained in some villages of the islands.

The pancakes, like many products of Canarian cuisine, don't have just one single recipe and different cooks will add different ingredients to give them a different flavor. Some even add pumpkin. These pancakes arrived in La Laguna with students from Gran Canaria in the 60s and are typical of the Carnival in Gran Canaria.

Ingredients:

(12 portions)

6 eggs
1/2 kg of sugar
400 gr of flour
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 l of milk
100 ml anise
3 tablespoons of honey
olive oil
1 cinnamon stick

Method

Separate egg whites and yolks.

Beat the whites with a stick blender. When they begin to form peaks, add the rest of the ingredients, little by little while continuing to beat. First add the sugar, then the egg yolks, flour, anise and the milk. Add the lemon zest and let the batter rest a little.

To make the tortitas, pour small portions of batter into a pan with plenty of hot oil. When they are done on one side, turn them over so they cook on the other.

Add the cinnamon stick to the honey to infuse it and warm slightly. Mix the honey with a splash of olive oil and pour it over the tortillas. Serve.

La Laguna Ahora con la Cocina del Carnaval a la Cuaresma: Tortitas de Carnaval
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