Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My favorite Venezuelan dessert: Quesillo!!! Warning: This is NOT a flan.

Quesillo Venezolano - Venezuelan Quesillo

Hmmm Quesillo, without a doubt my favorite Venezuelan dessert! I can eat a whole quesillo just by myself. Over the years I've tried lots of quesillo varieties and I even created my own version. I like the creamy quesillos, the creamier the better. Here in the USA and in  the UK many people eat flans and think that flan and quesillo are the same. It is difficult to explain the differences until you try a true Venezuelan quesillo, which tastes like milk and is not watery as the flan is. Do not get me wrong, I also like the flan, it is just that Venezuelan Quesillo is a completely different dessert.


The women in my family have been making Quesillos forever. My grandmother did a pineapple version that although it is very tasty, it is not creamy enough for me!

When I moved out of Venezuela, I took with me the recipe for the pineapple quesillo. I make quesillo for all birthdays parties, for me it is as important as the cake (and you know how serious I am about cakes). I also prepare them for special events. The English and Scots like it a lot, but the Americans refuse to try it too often. They do not know it is not a flan. Initially this used to bother me, but little by little I learned, that the less my guests eat, the more left over quesillo for me!!

As for my own recipe, a Colombian friend told me that in Colombia they do something similar to quesillo, called him cheese flan, and the secret was to put cream cheese to the mix (and not pineapple). I began to invent and now I use cream cheese in my quesillos, with or without pineapple. I also change the preparation method from oven to stove top.
Too much talking let's cook!

By the way, you will need a quesillera: a pot with a close fitting lid. In Venezuela it is sold everywhere. If you do not have one, you can use a tin of saltines crackers.


Quesillera



Recipe: My Cheese Quesillo ( A variation of Venezuelan Quesillo with Colombian influence!)

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of rum or whiskey (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • half cup water

Preparation:



In a quesillera (see photo) put the sugar and water to low fire to make a caramel. Do not stir, just watch. 


When the caramel  is ready  (sugar will melt and turn amber brown), remove from heat, turn the quesillera to its sides so the caramel stick to all sides - leave to cool.



Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and mix well.


Put this mixture in the quesillera with the cold caramel. Close the quesillera .



Put the cheese quesillo in a double boiler (Bain Marie). Put a little water to boil in a big pan and put the closed quesillera inside. (the amount of water must be low enough so when you put the quesillera inside the water reaches only to half of the side - be careful with this, if put you too much water, it will go inside the quesillera when it boils and ruin the whole thing). Close the big pot and boil for an hour (check the water from time to time to make sure that it has not evaporated)

After an hour, insert a tooth pick on the quesillo - if it comes out clean it is ready, if not keep it boiling for another 5 minutes and try for doneness again.


Once ready, remove the quesillera and cool the cheese quesillo for 20 minutes (if you do not wait until it is cold, it will split when you take it out of the quesillera). When the cheese quesillo is cold, turn it into a plate to serve. (Put the plate on top of the open quesillera - holding the plate and the quesillera in place, quickly turn it upside down and it will fall nicely on the plate)


Recipe: Grandma's pineapple quesillo (A true Venezuelan quesillo)


Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 can of pineapple juice
  • A splash of rum (2 tablespoons) and a little bit (1 teaspoon) vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • half cup of pineapple juice (or half and half with water)
Preparation:

In a quesillera (see photo) put the sugar and half cup of pineapple juice to low fire to make a caramel. Do not stir, just watch. When the caramel is ready (sugar will melt and turn amber brown), remove from heat, turn the quesillera to its sides so the caramel stick to all sides - leave to cool.


This quesillo cooks in the oven (350 degrees) inside a tray with water.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and mix well. Put this mixture in the quesillera with the cold caramel. Close the quesillera . Put the cheese quesillo in a double boiler (Bain Marie). Put a little water  in a big cake pan or tray and put the closed quesillera inside. (the amount of water must be low enough so when you put the quesillera inside the water reaches only to half of the side - be careful with this, if put you too much water, it will go inside the quesillera when it boils and ruin the whole thing). The cake pan with the quesillera will go in the oven.

After an hour, insert a tooth pick on the quesillo - if it comes out clean it is ready, if not keep it boiling for another 5 minutes and try for doneness again. Once ready, remove the quesillera and cool the cheese quesillo for 20 minutes (if you do not wait until it is cold, it will split when you take it out of the quesillera). When the cheese quesillo is cold, turn it into a plate to serve. (Put the plate on top of the open quesillera - holding the plate and the quesillera in place, quickly turn it upside down and it will fall nicely on the plate)

That is all!!you can now choose to make 2 different types of quesillos!

If you like this post, you may also like other Venezuelan dishes:
Venezuelan style pork shoulder: El Pernil

5 comments:

Adriana (ClayCatShop) said...

Yummy!!!! One of my favorite desserts as well! and yes, it is not a flan! ;-P Saludos!!!!

ELY said...

Que rico, yo preparo el flan con queso crema, me imagino que sabe parecido al quesillo Venezolano.

Nita said...

Where can I purchase one of these pans?

Party Artist said...

@Nita, youshould be able to find them at a Latino supermarket. Also, some Asian supermarkets carry them too. If you do not live near one, sometimes saltine crackers come in tin cans, You can carefully wash them and use those too.

Tula Cain....Making It Up said...

I worked in Venezuela for 3 weeks a few years ago. At break time, I kind lady would bring cups of the most delicious dessert I have ever tasted to sell to the employees. It was creamy, but not dense like flan. I have tried many different recipes, hoping to find something even close to it. I know it wasn't pineapple or coconut. It was just so rich and creamy, I looked forward to break time everyday! Does my description sound like your recipe?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...