Tejas of Alcalá (Tiles of Alcalá) are delicious and fine biscuits, imitating the shape of the characteristic pieces with which roofs are constructed, acquiring from them its name.
Beside the stars of Alcalá’s confectionery— costradas, sugared almonds and Alcalá ring-shaped pastries—, there are other delicacies that may also attract your attention. This is the sweetest face of Alcalá, available in pastries all along city streets. During de Holy Week, there are penitents, or tails, some delicious fine and curved biscuits with the same shape characteristic of pieces used to construct roofs—the origin of their name.
Tiles are pastries to have with tea, coffee, or desserts made by sweet wine or liquor. Hence, you can enjoy a sweet and smooth bite at any time, a very popular fancy among Alcalá de Henares confectioneries.
Made by Crushed Almonds
Tile is a Complutensian dessert directly linked with others—such as costrada and sugared almonds—through a fundamental ingredient in Spanish confectionery: the almond. This is what gives life an especially delicious taste.
Almonds are one of tiles’ compounds, as well as flower and ground almonds—it means, almonds crushed in slight way—, both in dough and cover after being baked. According to the recipe, in some cases the dough is made from wheat flower and only almonds flour, and in other cases, crushed almonds are added to that dough. Later on, it just rests the possibility of sprinkling or not grounded almonds once tiles are made.
Tiles are a much extended specialty through all Spanish geography. Besides being very appreciated by Alcalá’s inhabitants and visitors, they are also famous in other places, such as for example, Tolosa’s tiles, in Navarra.
Such great popularity has turned into the creation of a huge number of variants, so some of them flavored with vanilla while others include grated lemon or orange rind. In some cases, they are painted with egg yolks and other they are not. In the end, everything is up to bakers and testers imagination: adding whipped cream or marmalade, lemon cream or melted chocolate…
Tails of Alcalá can be bought in any confectioneries in Alcalá which had them in their carte. However, in case you enjoy cooking, the recipe reads as follows:
- 3 egg yolks;
- 125 gr. sugar;
- 30 gr. flour;
- 30 gr. butter;
- 100gr of grounded almonds, and
- grated lemon rind.
- Mix some yolks, without stirring, with all other ingredients and after, add almonds.
- Leave it in the fridge to settle for one or two hours. Later, take an oven tray and cover it with paper. Afterwards, spread rounded balls of dough well separated on the oven, flatten them out with a spoon and try them to stay thin.
- Put it in the oven for about 5 minutes at 200ºC, and do take it out when borders became darker.
- With the same oven paper wrap it all in a kitchen roll or over a bottle so they acquire a curved form. Let’s eat!
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