1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

A Gibraltarian Easter: Spinach Pie and Hornasso

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


A Gibraltarian Easter, Spinach Pie and Hornasso: Marie, who has kindly shared a number of recipes that arrived in Gibraltar via Genoese sailors in centuries past, provides a couple of neat Easter recipes.


  • See Below


Easter here in Gibraltar is accompanied by Spinach Pie and Hornasso. You know I've written to you before with other recipes which our Genoese descendants left us and these are a couple you could be interested in.

The Spinach Pie is simple enough. You would need enough shortcrust pastry, whether bought or home made to line your oven dish with as well as some for the top. The filling is made from four or five bunches of fresh spinach leaves, boiled, strained and chopped, good handful of fresh or dried marjoram, bunch of parsley, bout ten garlic cloves, chopped, bunch of spring onions chopped, seven or eight eggs, and two cupfuls of grated cheese, the stronger the better, 2 cups of bread crumbs, and salt to taste. Mix all ingredients together. Line your oven dish with the pastry, prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, to help it cook, pour in the filling (at this stage you could make little wells in the filling and drop in two or three whole eggs, shell off of course. Pour dribbles of olive oil over the whole mix to help it stay moist. (I forgot the oil this time round and its come out bit dry, I am afraid). Cover the filling with the rest of the pastry, prick the pastry on top, and if you have a little pastry left it is usual to decorate with pastry made leaves or flowers; depends how artistic you are. Brush some egg on top, to give it nice colour when cooked and pop it in the oven. Takes about two hours to cook, or less depends how big you are making it. Oh I forgot again, oven must be hot, about 190/200 (C; 380-400 F) would do.

The other traditional Easter delight we have is called Hornasso, and it is a sort of dry cake. The ingredients are half a pound of margarine, two cups of sugar, six eggs, half a cup of milk, two pounds of raising flour, and about two good tablespoons of aniseed. The grated rind of two lemons.

You cream the butter and the sugar till light coloured and fluffy, add the lemon rind and the aniseed. Beat the eggs in one at a time, adding some flour at the same time, so it won't curdle. Once all the eggs and milk are in you continue to add the flour until mixture comes off sides of the mixing bowl. Powder your work surface with some flour, put all the mixture onto it and knead, adding more flour onto the surface until mixture becomes workable, but not too much or it will become too dry and floury. You make them out into big bun shapes, or you can also make a ring and place a couple of previously hard-boiled eggs on top held by a cross made of the same dough. Brush the tops with either milk or egg. Flour a couple of flat cake tins, put the buns on them, and put them in a previously heated oven; about 200 (C; 400 F) is fine. If you feel they getting brown too quickly lower the heat a little. They are ready when risen, and golden brown; to test for doneness stick a clean knife in and it should come out dry. I usually also tap them on the underside, and if they sound hollow, they are done! They will keep for a long time and the ones with the eggs on top are eaten on Easter Sunday. I usually make double these amounts because it is also traditional to swap some with the family. That way you get to find out whether theirs are better than yours or vice versa.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.