Queijadas is Rochelle Ramos’ favorite Portugese way to accessorize an espresso.
By Rochelle Ramos
Pastelarias are found around nearly every corner here in Portugal. Espressos dot counter tops and tables, accompanied by flaky pastries of all kinds. Some filled with custards, some sprinkled with sweet powdery sugar, nearly all including eggs yolks. Some of the best though, have a creamy cheese and are called queijadas.
In Sintra they have a famous queijada that is essentially a single serving cheesecake with a caramelized top. It is one of my favorites so far of all the sweet pastries that I’ve had, but I’ve never had the real thing, only the version I adapted from a great little book that is perfect for any English speaking traveler that comes to Portugal and wants to explore the food here.
Eat Portugal has been a great companion in learning some of the Portuguese language and helps me figure out what my in-laws are talking about around the dinner table. It’s also teaching me recipes to play with that are fairly popular Pratos Portugueses such as the Queijadas de Sintra.
- 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon (5g) salt
- 1 tablespoon (15g) butter, melted
- warm water
- 1 cup (250g) riccotta, or dry cottage cheese
- 1 cup (250g) cream goat cheese
- 1 ¾ cup (350g) sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup (60g) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the flour and salt in a medium sized bowl, whisking to evenly distribute the salt. Make a well in the middle and pour the melted butter into it. Mix well by hand with a wooden spoon. As you beat the mixture, slowly add in warm water bit by bit until the dough pulls together and a firm ball forms. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or leave overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C).
- In a bowl beat together cheese and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in yolks, flour and cinnamon.
- Remove pastry dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it's about ⅛th inch thick. Cut out round shapes using a glass or cookie cutter and place in a oiled or buttered muffin tin as the crust to the tarts. Fill with the cheese mixture.
- Bake in the oven about 15 – 20 minutes or until the tops are a beautiful honey brown color. Serve warm.
Rochelle is an Americana cooking, eating, photographing and writing in Portugal. She has a love for real food and learning to make it from scratch. As a new expat, she is slowly learning to speak the language and will soon be able to order more than just a café and pastel de nata from the local pastelaria.