Queijadas De Sintra (Portuguese Cheese Tarts With Cinnamon)

Recipe by Shannon Cooks
READY IN: 4hrs 20mins




  • For the pastry: Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the texture of fine meal.
  • Forking briskly, drizzle just enough ice water over the mixture to make it hold together.
  • Shape into a ball, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate several hours.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade (or in a blender or electric mixer set at highest speed), process the mozzarella, butter, sugar, and cinnamon about 60 seconds nonstop until smooth and creamy.
  • Scrape down the work bowl sides with a rubber spatula and beat 60 seconds longer.
  • Note: It will take longer for the electric mixer to reduce the mixture to creaminess, perhaps 3 to 4 minutes of steady beating.
  • Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the flour and pulse the motor on once or twice to blend.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small bowl; cover and chill several hours.
  • When ready to bake the queijadas, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Divide the pastry in half and roll, first one half, then the other, as thin as paper, on a lightly floured pastry cloth with a lightly floured, stockinette-covered rolling pin.
  • Cut into rounds with a 3 1/2 inch cutter.
  • Also re-roll and cut the scraps.
  • Fit the pastry into plain or fluted tart tins measuring 2 1/2 inches across the top.
  • Set the tins on baking sheets, then half-fill each tart shell with the cheese mixture.
  • Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes, just until the filling is puffy and a rich amber brown.
  • Remove the tarts from the oven, cool until easy to handle; then using a small pointed knife, gently pry the tarts from the tins.
  • Serve at room temperature.