Queijada – self crusting Portugese tarts

by Barry Lewis


For the crusts

240g Plain flour

60g butter

For the filling

4 eggs, yolks only

250g sugar

Pinch salt

1tsp cinnamon

4tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

450g ricotta

To serve

Icing sugar, for dusting

When it comes to Portugese food I’m a big fan, I was lucky enough to visit there a few times and the classic pastel de nata or even some peri peri chicken is top of the list. However a chance conversation with a Portugese couple who I met in my hometown, mentioned a different tart to the pastel de nata – the Queijada. There are lots of different variations of this tart, however the one I opted for was a self-crusting one which sounded really fun to attempt and it had a delicious ricotta and cinnamon infused filling! There is lots of information online about the different variations included Quiejada de coco, a chocolate based one, however this one did not disappoint and I really hope you give it a go!

Homemade Queijada

Alright first up we’ll make the crusts in a cupcake tin. Grab the butter and rub it all inside the cupcake tin holes, on the base and the sides of each. Use a teaspoon of flour and sprinkle it into each cupcake hole in the tin, shake the tin to get it to coat the sides and base. It will get a bit messy, but that’s quite fun!

Sprinkle or spray water (with a little water bottle plant sprayer thing, much easier) onto the floured tin just to dampen the flour, then sprinkle the flour on again with a teaspoon each time, once you’ve done them all shake a little to cover the base and sides in flour. Repeat this step 3 more times, the water should help make the flour tacky and stick the next layer of flour. Do your best to coat it really well so no parts of the tin are showing in each cupcake hole. Leave the tin to one side but pre-heat the oven to 400f/180c/160fan/Gas 4 while you make the filling.

For the filling, grab a bowl and whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and it’s pale in colour. Add in the salt, cinnamon and butter, then again whisk until fully combined. An electric whisk works best for this step to break down the butter, otherwise soften the butter a bit more to help it blend easier. Fold in the ricotta cheese with the other ingredients in the bowl until just combined.

Add into each cupcake hole in the prepared tin. You can pour it all the way to the top as they sink back a little bit, however if you are more comfortable, I found the batter poured ¾ the way up worked pretty well too.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown, keep your eye on them as they can catch quickly, but make sure they are set, you may want to bake a little longer if not fully browned. Keep your eye on it and trust your judgement.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the tin before even attempting to remove them, this makes getting them out of their self-crust much easier, place on a wire rack once removed, dust with icing sugar and gobble up! Keep in an airtight container if not eating immediately, which I think after tasting one, you just might!