These little cheese tarts are the local delicacy here, so I had to try one. Although made with cheese they are slightly sweet, and served sprinkled with cinnamon, which I love. I enjoyed the first one I sampled (in one of the cafés overlooking the National Palace) although not as much as the several Pasteis de Nata I enjoyed in Lisbon. The second one I tried, bought from the little patisserie on the main road just across from the Palace, was nicer, perhaps because it was, I think, fresh out of the oven.
The recipe is a close-guarded secret, as so often with these traditional treats, but I found this approximation on the internet:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2-2/3 cup ice water
1/4 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (at room temperature)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup un-sifted all-purpose flour
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Rub or cut in the shortening until the texture of fine meal.
- Add 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 non-stop until smooth and creamy.
- Scrape down the work bowl sides with a rubber spatula and beat 60 seconds longer.
- 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.
- Roll the pastry as thin as paper, on a lightly floured pastry cloth..
- Cut into rounds with a 3 1/2 inch cutter.
- 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.
The Sintra Festival is held during June and July and is a feast for music lovers. There are usually around 12 concerts which are held in venues such as palaces and churches as well as at estates and in parks. Most of the program is made up of the romantic period piano pieces as well as some ballet and opera.
Also during June is Sao Pedro’s annual festival which features crafts, dance exhibitions, serenades, music competitions and a cattle show.
Queijadas are egg custard tartlets, and are among my preferred cakes in a country, Portugal, where cakes are very good.
I tried very good ones in Sintra, Casa das Queijadas, just opposite the railway station.
It's not only a place where you can get good cakes, but also a nice old style bar owned by a pretty aged woman
sintra is the place to get married in portugal.
it's so romantic and many places specialse in organising weddings.
what little girl would not want to get married with fairy tale castles as a backdrop?
i went there once for a wedding and i must say that it was damn romantic.
The local delicacy are cheese tarts, or Queijadas. Made with eggs, flour, sugar and cinnamon and fresh cow’s cheese. The recipe has been passed down through families over the centuries.