Today I want to bring you to a beautiful town in the center of Catalonia, Vic. First, allow me to tell you a little bit about the town.
Vic is a small city with a population of 41,000. It’s located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees and is only 37 miles north of Barcelona. Vic is the capital of the region of Osona, Barcelona and is located on the banks of the Meder river, which feeds the Sau reservoir (See photos below.)
Sau reservoir during high levels. You can see the top of the church. When the reservoir is full, you can’t see anything.
Sau reservoir during low levels. You can see the church.
At a council in Toulouges in 1027, the bishop of Vic established the first Peace and Truce of God that helped reduce private warfare.
During the 18th century, the city was the first focus of the rebellion against the centralist policy of King Philip V of Spain. The conflict became the War of the Spanish Succession.
Nowadays, Vic is one of the most important cities in central Catalunya. Vic has emblematic landmarks, such as the Palau Episcopal (Episcopal Palace), erected next to the Catedral (cathedral), the arcaded Plaça Major (Main Square), the Temple Romà (Roman Temple), and the Church of La Pietat.
Inside of the Cathedral
Plaça Major de Vic (Main square)
After telling you a little bit about Vic, we should get into today’s recipe. It is called Pa de Pessic de Vic. The literal translation is a pinch of bread from Vic.
This sweet bread is very traditional in Catalonia, but mostly in Vic where some of the bakeries still make this light and delicate treat and display it beautifully in their shop windows. The origins of this cake can be traced back through early times to the Catholic Holy Week of the penance processions during Easter. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3krJNGlJr-M See the video of the procession in Vic. It is something that is very unique. The video is long, but you can skim through it to get a good idea.)
It was tradition to bring this sweet bread and distribute it among the participants. People could not wait until the end of the procession and they would eat little bites on the way home by pinching off bits of bread. That’s where the name comes from.
Is a very easy cake to bake. Eggs, sugar, flour and cornstarch. Is doesn’t have any baking power! The secret of the recipe is to beat the eggs very well. Let’s do it!
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 340F. Separate the eggs with one bowl containing the yolks, and the other the whites. Beat the egg whites for 2 minutes (I used a KitchenAid mixer). In another bowl, add sugar to the yolks. After 2 minutes, the egg whites be partially whipped. Add the yolks and the sugar to the whites and continue mixing. Next, add the flour the cornstarch the lemon zest and the salt. Continue to mix for another 3-4 minutes. The batter should be thin and light.
Pour the batter into a single mold or individual molds (whichever you prefer.) Bake at 340F for 27 to 30 minutes. Check the cake with a toothpick to be sure it is cooked through.
The top of the cake should have a delicate thin crust.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar after cooking (optional and recommended).
Slice of Pa de Pessic
Let it cool and ready to serve!
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