Queijadas de Sintra, or Portuguese cheesecakes, are a traditional pastry found throughout Portugal. The cheesecakes have a flaky crust and rich, cheesy filling with a hint of sweetness.
All sorts of cheeses are used in these pastries – from mozzarella to goat cheese to ricotta. This Portuguese cheesecake recipe uses fresh (fresh is the key here!) mozzarella and is not hard at all to make.
Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours to chill dough and filling
Cook Time: 18 to 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes plus 2 hours to chill dough and filling
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- dash of salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup ice cold water
- 1/4 pound (4 ounces) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes and at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (not sifted)
Here’s how to make it:
- To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the shortening until you get the texture of cornmeal. While stirring, slowly drizzle in the ice water until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- To make the filling, put the cheese, butter, sugar and cinnamon into a food processor or stand mixer. Beat on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and beat 1 more minute. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Add the flour and start pulsing the food processor to just blend. Put the filling into a mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to bake the cheesecakes, divide the dough in half. Roll both halves out as thin as you can on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Reroll the scrapes together and cut out as many rounds as you can.
- Put each round into a muffin tin cup. Fill each cup with the filling. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 18 to 20 minutes or until filling puffs and is golden brown. Remove and cool to room temperature before serving.
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