If you’re in the mood for a touch of sweetness and you want to try some traditional Murcian desserts at home, today we’re going to deliver. We’re bringing you everything you need to roll up your sleeves and prepare (and then enjoy!) two sweet recipes with their origins in the Region of Murcia. They’ll bring joy to your day and to the people you choose to share them with, and they’re the perfect addition to your dessert repertoire, which already includes the paparajote recipe we gave you some time ago.
Yemas de Caravaca
This is one of the absolute classics of Murcian desserts, specifically from Caravaca de la Cruz: yemas de Caravaca. Made with egg yolk and sugar and drizzled with chocolate or caramel, this recipe is so simple and delicious that you can easily prepare it the next time you’re at your La Manga Club property.
Ingredients for four:
- 8 egg yolks
- 100 g of sugar
- 250 g of powdered sugar
Prepare the sugar syrup over heat with sugar and water, mixing it until it reaches thread stage. Then beat the egg yolks until they take on a frothy consistency and add in the sugar syrup, beating continuously. Once you have a homogenous mixture, put it back on the stove over low heat and continue to beat until it comes away from the sides of the saucepan. Then, let the dough cool until you can make small balls and place them in molds.
Before serving the dessert, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and, if you like, drizzle with caramel or melted chocolate. That decision is up to you and your guests!
Pastel de Cierva
Like any good ancient Spanish dish, the Pastel de Cierva is the stuff of legends. They say that in the XIX Century, the head chef of a Russian ship anchored in the Mar Menor gave a taste to a local baker. Enchanted by the flavor and the surprising mix of sweet and savory flavors, the baker decided to serve it at a meal for several important officials, among whom was Juan de la Cierva Peñafiel, one of King Alfonso XIII’s trusted ministers. You can guess what transpired next: De la Cierva praised the chef for his creativity and the cake became immortalized with the last name of the politician. Now it’s your turn to delight your guests!
- 250 g of pig lard, margarine, or whatever fat source you prefer
- 250 g of sugar
- 1 egg
- Grated lemon peel
- 500-700 g of flour
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 150-250 g of cooked chicken (save a small ladleful of the juices from cooking)
There are two parts to this dish: the flaky pastry and the filling. Prepare the dough for the pastry by mixing together the pig lard with the sugar and salt. Once it has reached a creamy consistency, add the egg, the lemon rind, and the flour. The result should be a compact dough that doesn’t crumble easily, so mix in the flour slowly until you have the desired result. When done, place in the refrigerator to rest. Then move on to prepare the meat and egg filling. Clean the chicken so it is free of skin and bits of cartilage, and dice the hard-boiled eggs.
Preheat the oven to 150º or 160ºC. Once the dough has rested for at least half an hour, stretch it enough lengthwise to line the molds. Place the chicken, egg, and a small ladle of the chicken juices in the bottom of the mold. Fold the rest of the dough around it, brush the surface with a beaten egg, and place in the oven until the dough has browned. Let the cake cool and it will be ready to serve, as an appetizer, in small portions. The result is a sweet pastry with a savory filling.
Traditional doesn’t have to mean complicated. As you’ve seen, both the Pastel de Cierva and the Yemas de Caravaca are well within your capabilities, and perfect for bringing Murcian desserts into your La Manga Club home to share with your family and friends.