Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kuchen de Quesillo

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For our Chilean wine & dinner event, my friend Johanna made the following dessert. Who knew that Germans had such an influence in Chile?!

In Chile, pies and tarts are called küchen, simply because the bakeries which originally sold these items were German, and are traditional in the German households. We could call this a cheesecake, but cheesecake is technically neither a cake nor a pie, but a custard.

This recipe uses Chilean quesillo, but you can substitute Schmierkäse(what the Germans use for this küchen), or Neufchâtel, or a Mexican fresh cheese such as queso fresco or panela, or, if you live in Tulsa, 1½ cups of ricotta and ½ cup of heavy cream.

This pastry is traditionally served at tea-time, German-style with fresh raspberries or blackberries.

Kuchen de Quesillo (Chilean Cheesecake)
recipe from Rick Cooks

CRUST
2 c (280 g) all-purpose flour
½ c (120 g) (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
¼ c (35 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ t baking powder
pinch salt
1 T (approx.) ice water

Place all ingredients except ice water in food processor and process briefly, adding water as necessary to form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

FILLING
¾ c (100 g) golden raisins, soaked in hot water or rum, drained
2 large eggs, separated
2 T heavy cream
2 T flour (or cornstarch)
1 c (140 g) powdered sugar
2 c (500 g) quesillo or queso fresco
½ t vanilla extract

Place the cheese and cream in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more cream as necessary for a smooth consistency. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat in the raisins, egg yolks, flour (or cornstarch), powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites to a stiff peak and fold into the cheese mixture.

ASSEMBLY AND BAKING
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9-inch springform pan (or two tart plates). Roll out the dough and line the pan (or plates). Pour in the cheese mixture. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the lower third of the oven. Check after about 40 minutes and cover loosely with aluminum foil if top is getting too brown.

Serve warm or chilled.

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