Queijadas de Evora

Queijadas de Evora (kay-jah-dash day eh-voh-rah) are sweet and delicious Portuguese tartlets. Other fruit or almonds may be substituted for the cherries. Serve the tartlets with tea or coffee or as a dessert, allowing 2 tartlets for each person.

8 oz. flour & teaspoon salt

5 oz. plus

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons castor sugar

1 egg yolk

1 TO 2 tablespoons iced water

1 egg white, lightly beaten

8 oz. full fat cream cheese

2 oz. sugar

5 oz. canned, stoned Morello cherries, drained and chopped juice of

1 lemon

2 egg yolks

½ teaspoon salt

Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the 5 ounces of butter and cut it into small pieces with a knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the iced water. With the knife, mix them into the flour mixture. Add more water if the dough is too dry.

With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 ‘F (Gas Mark 6, 200C). Using the remaining butter, lightly grease 18 patty tins.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to ½ inch thick. Using a 3-inch pastry cutter, cut the dough into 18 circles. Gently press the dough circles into the tins.

Put the lined patty tins into the refrig-erator to chill for 10 minutes.

Remove the tins from the refrigerator. Using a pastry brush, brush each dough case with the beaten egg white. Place the patty tins in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the tins from the oven and allow the tartlets to cool.

Reduce the heat to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

To make the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream checs’e and sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the chopped cherries, lemon juice, egg yolks and salt and beat well until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in each pastry case. Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake the tartlets for 15 to 20 minutes or until the filling has set.

Remove the patty tins from the oven and allow the tartlets to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the tartlets to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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