Quesadillas, or mini-cheesecakes are traditionally made by one family on the island of El Hierro, one of the smallest and most western of the Canary Islands. In early times El Hierro was thought to be the end of the western world, before the Azores were discovered. In the year 2000 it was named by Unesco as a Biosphere Reserve.
Although the term quesadilla is used in Mexican cooking to refer to a cheese filled tortilla, (queso meaning cheese in Spanish,) the quesadillas of El Hierro are small, sweet individual cheesecakes, each one measuring around 10 centimeters (4 inches) across. They have been the specialty of one family, Adrián Gutiérrez e Hijas, made in their bakery using the recipe and method passed down by grandparents since 1900 where the quesadillas, in their distinctive daisy-shaped moulds, were cooked in wood burning ovens.
The above two photos credited with thanks to La Ruta del Buen Yantar
Here is a recipe for making quesadillas at home. They are made in individual molds which originally were lined with a thin puff pastry, but now commercially they are sold with a thin muffin-type paper backing.
1 kilo (2.2 lbs) unsalted fresh cheese
250 grams flour
500 grams sugar
4 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1 TBS honey
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 TBS anise grains
grated rind of 1 lemon
Mix all well to form a mass, then put into moulds, either buttered or lined with paper inserts. Originally quesadillas were put in moulds lined with a very thin layer of puff pastry.
Cook in 375F (190C) oven until golden.
The fresh cheese on El Hierro is made from a mixture of 85% goat milk, 10% cow milk and 5% sheep milk.
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