Quesada is a traditional cheesecake from Cantabria in the North of Spain. I need to start this post by saying that this is a simple recipe that gives a result that is similar to that of authentic quesada, but I’m in no way saying that this is the real thing! I make this recipe in my kitchen in Brooklyn whenever my husband and I are craving the taste of quesada but find ourselves an ocean away from the real thing!
Traditional quesada is made in the high mountain passes of the Picos de Europa. The best ones in Cantabria have the most incredible hearty texture, almost as if there were breadcrumbs in the recipe. I’ve seen recipes for quesada that use rennet to curdle the milk and give the quesada its unique texture. If you’re looking for a more authentic recipe for quesada you might want to try this one from Directo al Paladar.
The texture of my quesada is much more smooth than the ones in Cantabria. It sometimes makes me think of the texture of Japanese mochi. I have tried the recipe using yogurt and ricotta but find that the ricotta version is a bit more to my liking. I love the traditional combination of cinnamon and citrus as flavors. You could also add a bit of vanilla if you wish.
This is an approximation of a cheesecake-type treat that's very common in Cantabria in the North of Spain. It's a wonderful cake that comes together in minutes and is best served with a coffee.
- ½ cup ricotta cheese or greek yogurt 125g, I prefer to use ricotta because it mimics the texture of quesada more closely.
- 2 eggs
- 1 scant cup sugar 180g
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 150g
- 2 cups whole milk 500ml
- 4 tbsp softened butter 50g
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from half of a lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325F/160C and grease the tart pan.
Add ricotta/yogurt, eggs, and butter to a large bowl and mix well with an electric mixer or whisk.
Next, incorporate the milk and lemon zest and juice.
Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated and the batter has a velvety custardy consistency.
Pour the batter into the tart pan and sprinkle a little bit of sugar and cinnamon on top.
Bake for 50 minutes until fully set and toasted on top.
Remove to oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
The quesada will keep in the refridgerator for a few days and is delicious served chilled as well.