Easter in Mallorca means walking by every single bakery and drool at the sight of crespells, robiols, panades… We believe the origin of crespells is jewish (chueta, a derogatory term used in mallorquín) and this might be the reason why traditionally they are shaped as a 6 point star or a 6 petal flower. When I was little I shaped them with a glass, to give them a round shape. It is such a typical recipe to make with kids, because it’s simple and they enjoy literally putting their hands in the dough.
I remember making this recipe for the very first time as I was 6 years old. The school gave us a list of things we should bring from home, basically the ingredients for the recipe and a couple of utensils, and on the chosen day we were taken to the common dining room, equipped us with tiny aprons and gave us freedom to create chaos. My crespells came out looking pretty decent taking into account the limited supervision I had received – we’re talking about early 90s… the obsession for being on top of children’s every move came later -. I was really chuffed, until I found out that the teachers, as they were responsible for putting the crespells in the oven, had distributed the end result without taking into account who had made what. So there’s a chance I ate some other kid’s crespells, however for a 6 year old it wasn’t too much to ask of the teachers that they would remember who from the 30 kids under their supervision had made what.
An interesting detail. Did you know that lard, used often in gastronomy of Mallorca, is called saïm? That’s where the word ensaïmada comes from, one of the most popular mallorquín pastries, which is not only famous in Spain but in other countries too.
- 500g flour
- 125g sugar
- 125g lard (room temperature)
- 35cl olive oil
- the juice of one orange (see below BONUS TIPS)
- lemon peel
- 3 egg yolks
- Preheat the oven at 160°C.
- In a big bowl (or standmixer) combine the lard, oil, juice and egg yolks until a paste is formed.
- Add the sugar and lemon peel, then progressively the flour until completely mixed. This should be a uniform dough.
- Roll out the dough making sure the thickness is about 0.5cm, and cut out the shapes.
- Place the biscuits on an oven tray over baking paper or a silicon mat, to stop them from sticking. Bake for about 20 minutes. They should come out while still pale, not golden or toasted, otherwise they will be dry.
- As well as the orange juice, I add 3 drops of orange essential oil (I only use Young Living). In the same way, I substitute lemon peel for 2 drops of lemon EO.
- This dough can also be used to make robiols, a type of biscuit stuffed with spaghetti squash preserve, custard cream, cottage cheese or jam (being apricot the most traditional).
- Here you can find another typical mallorquín recipe.