Manchego flowers. Easter recipe
It is been a while since I wanted to make this recipe, as I have the mold to do Manchego Flowers a few months ago when my father brought it from Ciudad Real. The Manchego Flowers are typical at Easter and to me they are a welcome to spring.
In other regions they are known as florones or floretas; Nonetheless, the origin has not doubt to offer as the cake has the shape of a flower, that at the same time is like the Cross of Calatrava, which has four equal sides with a fleur-de-lis at the edge of each side. The Campo de Calatrava is in Ciudad Real, where a military order has its domains having lot of power during Medieval Ages. In fact, the foundation of the capital city, also named Ciudad Real by Alfonso X, known as the Wiseman, was a royal manoeuvre to oppose the power of the Calatravan monks.
It has its capital in Calatrava (nowadays, Calatrava la vieja), by the riverbanks of Guadiana, remaining just a few ruins of the castle; then, they moved out to Calatrava la Nueva, where today is Calzada de Calatrava, having also this one the ruins of a castle, in this case, in a better stage of conservation. The film maker, Pedro Almodóvar, was born here. There are quite a few town with take “de Calatrava” as toponym as they belonged to the domains of the Calatrava order. Their possession even spread until Córdoba and Seville. The monastic orders were in charge of keeping the lands conquered back from Islam, that’s why they have a military character. In fact, the monks were called knights. Once the Reconquest was finished, both their military and monastic values were lost and they turned into an economic element, i.e. the Gran Maestre devoted his time to administer their vast domains and wealth.
The moment José I became king, in the 19th century, those orders’ properties were seized, being restituted with the Borbons. Later on, Madoz, secularized the order and regularized the sales of their lands ending with their power for good. The Second Republic suppressed the order, despite being restored later on without wealth. Nowadays, it is just a honorific institution whose gran maestre is the bishop Ciudad Real, including Montesa, Santiago and Alcántara.
After this epitome of history, I have to say the flowers and a fried dough and you need a special mold to make that you may find at ironmongers. The more you use it the better you will make the flowers. The first ones are always spoilt, but it is really easy and you get them ready in 30 minutes. The yield is for 30 flowers and you may start making them at Carnival although you can prepare them any time you feel like.
Despite being a fried dough, it is quite a light snack as they are crunchy and flat. Be careful they are addictive!
¿Cómo se hace?
The Manchego flowers is an Easter recipe although it is a perfect snack for any occasion. You can store them for at least three days even in wet climate. Some people roll them in honey. Try them at your own taste and enjoy them!
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- 3 eggs
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 140 gr (5 oz) flour
- 25 ml (2 tsp) dry anise
- the peel of a lemon
- powder cinnamon
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) olive oil
- 200 gr (7 oz) sugar to roll them