From Queens to Mexico City, and pretty much nothing in between.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pay de Queso

At first, I was curious about how a country so painfully lacking in bagels could be so in love with cream cheese, but queso crema (or queso philadelphia, as it's frequently referred to since it's the only brand they use down here - hey, they know what's up) is very popular.

Cream cheese can be blended with very hot salsas to cool them down and make them creamy, but more importantly and most common  is its use in pay de queso (or cheese pie), the Mexican equivalent of cheesecake. Pay de queso is similar to traditional cheesecakes that are full of cheese flavor and have a dense-ish texture. So, you get that great flavor, but don't have to worry about the annoying water baths or cracking on top that comes with making a traditional cheesecake.

1 packet (340 g) Maria cookies
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 14 oz. can Lechera (sweetened condensed milk)
1 12 oz. can Carnation Clavel (evaporated milk)
6 eggs
2 8 oz. packages Philadelphia cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
pinch of salt

*makes 2 pays*


1 - Crush the Maria cookies (with a rolling pin or in a blender) and mix the crumbs with the sugar and melted butter. Press the mixture evenly into 8-inch pie plates.

2 - Blend the lechera, carnation, eggs, cream cheese, vanilla, lime juice and salt together until creamy.

3 - Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pie crusts.

4 - Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 350*.

5 - Enjoy! (Yes, that's all; it's that easy.)


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