Sunday, March 25, 2007
Pan de Ciruela
At times, Uruguayan food plays with that balance of sweet and savory. When taken to extremes the result is almost unpalatable. For example, friends told us about the specialty "tarta de atún" that was served as a first course at the family Christmas dinner. It consisted of a sweet pie crust, a filling of canned tuna, and another sweet layer on top. I have seen this sort of creation in a grocery store downtown. What I thought was apple pie had a layer of sliced jam and cheese in the middle. There was also the ham and cheese tart with sliced canned pineapple and maraschino cherries.
However..there are those times when the sweet and savory combo is conducted very well and (in my opinion) Pan de Ciruela is a great example. It is a loaf bread made of butter, milk, sugar, eggs, flour, and prunes. After it is baked, it is cooled and sliced and made into little ham and cheese sandwiches and served with coffee or tea. The loaf above is from my own oven, and the sandwiches are the "vegetarian version" ( I ran out of ham in the house!)
At first I thought it would be such an odd combination. I tried to picture cutting up my mom's banana bread and layering turkey and provolone inside. But these delightful little sandwiches I enjoy time and time again at my local tetería, and they were kind enough to give me the recipe.
Where to find them:
Most teterías or confiterías