When people think of Spanish desserts, they immediately think of Churros. The fried sugary bites of goodness that’s sure to capture your eyes and stomach.
The Ensaïmada de Mallorca is made from strong flour, water, sugar, eggs, mother dough and topped with powdered sugar. But that’s not all. It also has….. wait for it…. a kind of reduced pork lard called saïm.
WHAT?? Pork lard?? I know what you’re thinking. It’s the most unusual ingredient, especially in a sweet pastry.
This heavenly flaky pastry is often described as a snail, due to its shape. When opened up, spiral layering can be seen inside as well. In addition, multiple variations of custard and chocolate fillings have been introduced by the locals in an effort to globalise the Ensaïmada.
But it doesn’t stand alone. Ensaïmada are used in another regional dessert from the Balearic Islands known as Greixonera which resembles a version of a bread and butter pudding.
The regional origins of the Ensaïmada displays a need to preserve the essence of this magnificent pastry.
However, its expansion has extended the Spanish colonies of Philippines and Latin America (Puerto Rico). The Philippines have their own version of the Ensaïmada (spelled ‘Ensaymada‘). It’s baked with butter instead of lard and topped with grated cheese and sugar, becoming a sweet-savoury Filipino delicacy. Interestingly, the Puerto Rican’s ensaïmada, known as the Mallorca is eaten as an afternoon snack, whilst it is traditionally eaten for breakfast.
It’s time we add the ensaïmada to the list of famous breakfast pastries. Now, if you want to try your hand at making this pastry, click here.