Charlie’s Request – Queijadas de Sintra

Writing about web page http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/03/15/1079199151474.html?from=storyrhs

Charlie came
back from holiday with a request for these. I’ve done some research
based on the recipe he gave me and have found this on theage.com.au
website.

These little custardy tarts are also name checked on Chocolate & Zucchini

And as I’ve been shopping and bought the ricotta Charlie could be in luck!

I’m imagining that they should look something like this

Queijadas de Sintra

All
over Portugal, towns large and small have their traditional tartlets or
sweets. Many are similar and the most notable characteristic is
sweetness. However, these tartlets are a famous and tasty sweet from a
town high in the hills north-west of Lisbon. Being famous in Portugal
almost always means there’s a secret recipe, so this version is the
result of tasting and guesswork. The queijadas consist of a thin pastry
case filled with a mixture of sugar, egg, cinnamon, and fresh cheese
(queijo fresco, but we have to use ricotta here). The final consistency
is like moist almond meal and few would guess that the filling is
cheese. The cooked filling can sometimes end up wetter than desired,
due to the moisture in the ricotta, but it will still taste good.

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60ml water
  • large pinch salt

Filling:

  • 210g ricotta
  • 2 egg yolks (preferably from 50-55g eggs)
  • 160g sugar
  • 20g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • ˝ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • You
    need one or more standard muffin trays or individual muffin/tartlet
    pans. Each pan is about 7cm in diameter at the top and about 2.5cm
    high. The recipe also works well with pans slightly larger or smaller
    in diameter.
  • Prepare the dough first. It can be made up to
    24 hours ahead. Mix the flour, water and salt, and knead to a smooth,
    firm dough. Leave it to rest.
  • Finely mash the ricotta or
    push it through a sieve. Do not use a food processor. Add the egg
    yolks, sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Mix until fairly smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 250C.
  • Grease
    the pans. To make the pastry cases, roll out the dough thinly on a
    smooth surface or use a pasta machine. Keep the surface and your
    rolling pin lightly floured at all times. You need sheets of dough no
    more than 1.5mm thick. The pans in a standard muffin tray have bases
    about 5.5cm in diameter, and you will need to cut circles of dough of
    8.5cm diameter, to make walls about 1.5cm high. If the bases of your
    pans are larger or smaller, adjust the size of the circles. If the
    dough is soft, leave it to dry a little before cutting the circles, as
    this will make it easier to handle.
  • For each circle of dough, use a sharp knife to make five 1cm incisions from the edge inwards, equally spaced around the circle.
  • When
    you finish each circle, place it over a pan, push the centre down to
    form the base of the tartlet. Overlap the edges of the incisions and
    press them lightly against the walls of the pan. The walls of the
    pastry case do not have to reach the top of the pan. Try to avoid gaps
    at the bottom of each incision, as the filling could leak.
  • Spoon filling into each pastry case up to about 3mm below the rim.
  • Bake
    for 10-15 minutes, until the filling begins to turn dark-brown in
    places. Remove. Allow to cool briefly, remove the tartlets from their
    pans and transfer to a wire rack.
  • Eat at room temperature. The tartlets keep for a few days stored in an airtight container.

Makes: 12-15

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