When you pass a shop window display like that it’s very difficult not to stop. You might even forget where you were going in the first place. All you know is that you want that. Want it now.
It happened to us on our way to the Picasso Museum. We were just casually strolling along when our peripheral vision was assaulted – Dillon literally screeched to a dead halt and did a double-take. No joke.
Meringues were piled high (taller than me! But that’s not hard as I’m only 4 foot 10 and 3/4 inches) and dozens of perfectly browned pastries stacked neatly, overlapping. Those were what intrigued us the most.
It’s quite a site, isn’t it? 100% sugary, nutty, flaky pastry goodness; called Coques de llardons. A bargain at 2 euros.
I don’t even know how to pronounce the name properly in Spanish but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. When I took a bite, what seemed like a thousand layers of pastry fluttered onto my shirt – the rest, the lucky ones – melted onto my tongue.
First you taste good quality butter, then crunchy toasted nuts and lastly, and most surprisingly, large shards of sugar that crunch loudly on impact with your teeth. The strongest sugar I’ve ever tasted! On subsequent bites I learnt to let it dissolve in a more ladylike way.
But back to the combination. Pine nuts and sugar? Well I never. Having Lebanese heritage I can vouch for pine nuts with lamb, pomegranates, rice, lamb (Oh I said that, but lamb!) and on salads. Just not with sugar. On a pastry.
It’s great though and it got my mind racing – wouldn’t they be delicious in a crumble topping with a tart fruit like rhubarb? Or maybe sprinkled on a muffin with cinnamon? It definitely requires more thought.
How would you use pine nuts in a sweet recipe?
If you want to get your hands on one, here’s the address + map:
Brunells, C/ Princesa 22, 08003 Barcelona.