While at Pazo in Harbor East for Baltimore Restaurant Week, Kenny, my parents, and I shared at least 16 tapas. Some of my favorites – watermelon cubes with cheese, tomato and mozzarella salad, shredded chicken with bread in a tomato sauce.
I wish I could describe these dishes better – they really were delicious – but I couldn’t stop thinking about the sunflower seed tuile, a thin layer of pastry with the texture of a buttery cracker covered with crunchy, toasted sunflower seeds.
We were served this “gift from the pastry kitchen” before any of the tapas hit the table.
Coming home, I turned to Google, hoping another blogger out there had gotten the recipe and decided to write about it.
Tons of time spent searching wasn’t necessary – the recipe is posted on Pazo’s website.
The tuile starts with the pastry layer – equal parts of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs plus a pinch of salt that are whisked together (consult the recipe for the order of ingredients) to a soupy consistency…
then chilled for an hour or two (I chilled mine overnight) to thicken.
Once cold, the mixture is spread into a pan – the recipe says to use silicone but does not specify size; I used a metal pan from Wilton, size 15.25 x 10.25 and .75 inches thick – in a very thin, even layer. My layer was definitely thin, not so even.
Then the pastry is covered with sunflower seeds (I used salted and they taste great, but I think Pazo uses the unsalted variety) then baked as instructed.
The ends of my tuile burnt, probably for one of two reasons: my pastry layer wasn’t even and I didn’t use a silicone pan. But the middle looked perfect.
Once out of the oven, the tuile is cut into squares immediately but kept in the pan to cool. Once cooled, the tuile can be broken apart. Or use my method: try to cut the squares, get frustrated, then break them apart immediately because you aren’t serving these in a restaurant and they will still taste good.
Pazo recommends enjoying these with your favorite aperitif such as amontillado sherry. But I’ve been eating my tuile straight of their storage container each time I walk past.