"Pan de España" (also spelled: Pan d'España, Pan d'Españya, or Pan d'Españia) literally means "Bread of Spain" in Spanish, but in this context, it refers to a sponge cake made for Passover ("Para Pesah" or "Para Pésaj" meaning "for Passover" in Spanish) in the Spanish-Jewish style. Pan de España is one of many traditional Sephardic Passover / Pesach recipes; the "Pan de León" of León, Spain is another type of Spanish-Jewish sponge cake. Sephardic Jews or Sephardim (alternate spelling: Sefardim; plural form of "Sephardi" or "Sefardi"; descriptive form: "Sephardic" or "Sefardic") are Jews whose ancestors came from either Spain and/or Portugal.

The following Pan de España recipe for the Passover / Pesach festival produces a typical Spanish-Jewish sponge cake, with lemon and orange zest and juice.

Pan de España Recipe Para Pesah (Passover Sponge Cake Recipe - Spanish-Jewish style)

12 large eggs, divided, at room temperature
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup cake meal
zest and juice of one lemon
zest and juice of one orange
2 cups sugar

Instructions for the Pan de España recipe Para Pesah (Passover Sponge Cake recipe - Spanish-Jewish style):

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade).
  2. Place the whites in a mixing bowl and begin to beat slowly.
  3. As bubbles begin to form, turn mixer speed to high and slowly begin to add sugar.
  4. Continue beating until whites are stiff, glossy, and hold a peak.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In another mixing bowl, beat the yolks for 5 minutes, then add the zest and juice of the lemon and orange.
  7. Take at least a cup of beaten whites and fold carefully into the yolks, then fold in remaining beaten whites.
  8. Sift together the potato starch and cake meal.
  9. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the egg mixture and carefully fold in until blended.
  10. Place cake batter in an ungreased angel pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade) for about an hour or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and cake is lightly browned.

Serves 12.

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