Portuguese Easter sweet cake (Folar de Páscoa) legend and recipe
Portuguese Easter sweet cake is always present at our homes during Easter. It tastes even better when served with Serra da Estrela cheese.
Once upon a time there was a young girl, Mariana, who had only one purpose: to marry young. Therefore she prayed to Saint Catherine asking for a husband. But instead of one suitor, she had two, namely a rich noble and a poor peasant, both young and beautiful. Mariana sought once more the advice of Saint Catherine in order to take the right choice.
While she was praying, the peasant came to her house, asking her for an answer until Palm Sunday. The noble also did the same. Mariana did know what to do.
On Palm Sunday Mariana was told that the two men were engaged in a deadly fight for her. She run to them and, after seeking the help of Saint Catherine she cried the peasant’s name. On the day before Easter Sunday Mariana was concerned for she had been told that the noble was to appear in her wedding to kill her groom. So she prayed to Saint Catherine once more.
The next day, Mariana found a sweet cake with boiled eggs surrounded by flowers at her table. The flowers were the same she had placed in the altar to the Saint. She run to the peasant’s house and he told her that he also had received the same. Believing that the cakes were a present from the noble, they went to his house to tank him. However he had also received a similar cake. Mariana was convinced that it had been the work of Saint Catherine.
From this day on, to offer a Folar (early named folore) became a symbol of friendship and reconciliation. Therefore, during the Easter celebration, godchildren offer their godmother some violets on Palm Sundays and they give them a Folar in return.
- 35 g of yeast
- 1 kg flour
- 3 eggs
- 250 g butter
- 100 g sugar
- 5 dl milk
- 1 tsp. fennel
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 8 boiled eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- Salt to season and milk to dissolve the yeast
- Start by dissolving the yeast in a small dose of tepid milk. Add 200 g flour and knead the dough. Let it ferment.
- Meanwhile mix and knead the remaining flour with the eggs, the sugar and the milk until you get light dough. Then, add the butter and season with salt, the fennel and the cinnamon.
- Knead the dough once more and, finally add the yeast mixture. Work the dough until it comes out easily from your hands. Cover with a cloth and let it ferment for 2 to 5 hours in a warm place.
- Then, divide the dough into 4 balls and flatten them, reserving a small part of the dough to form some strips. Place two boiled eggs in each ball keeping them in place with the strips. Brush with the beaten egg yolks and place in the oven, previously heated.
- Let the “folares” cook for about 30 / 40 minutes (until it gets a golden colour) and then wonder your friends with this Folar (Portuguese Easter sweet cake) recipe.