Requeijão is a cheese spread that originated in Portugal and was widely spread in Brazil in the 20th century. It is a white creamy cheese, similar to ricotta in taste but with the consistency of condensed milk. In Brazil you can find it in everything. From pão de queijo filled with requeijão, to pizza with requeijão stuffed crust, this creamy cheese is absolutely everywhere.
I personally love it on bread in the morning, very well accompanied by a glass of freshly pressed orange juice.
It is impossible to find this variety of cheese spread in Canada and so I decided to try and do it myself. After a long research and some adaptations to the recipes found online, I came up with this version that is very healthy, delicious and with a very close consistency. The taste however is not exactly the same, but close enough.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Here is the recipe:
2 bags of fresh milk (or 2.66 liters) – if you can find cow’s milk directly from a farmer, even better, if not any kind of pasteurized milk works. I used 2 %.
6 tablespoons of white vinegar
1 ½ cup of cream (35%)
Salt to taste
Enough milk to adjust consistency (about 1 cup)
Boil the milk in low heat.
Remove from heat and add the vinegar and stir with a spoon. It will instantly separate the cheese curds from the whey (greenish liquid).
Using a sifter, collect all the cheese curds and drain well. Discard all the whey. Because of the vinegar, it’s too acid and you cannot reuse it. If you have a farm, you can feed it to pigs. They will like it.
Place the cheese curds in a blender and add the cream and the salt. Mix well. Add the milk in steps to adjust the consistency. Keep in mind that once it goes to the fridge it will thicken up, so you might wanna make it more liquid than desired at this point.
Taste it, adjust salt if needed and pour it into a medium glass container (sterilized with boiled water and bleach and washed well). This recipe makes 2 containers.
Keep it refrigerated for up to a week.
Pão de queijo recipe
500g polvilho azedo
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
Water or milk enough to adjust consistency (about ½ cup)
Grated Mozzarella cheese – as much as you want or enough to make it tasty and thick. About 2- 3 cups
Mix the polvilho with salt. Reserve.
Boil the water and oil. You can add the milk and boil it together or reserve it cold for later to help you cool down the mix before adding the eggs.
Once liquids are boiled, pour them slowly all over the dry ingredients and beat well in the stand mixer until everything is well combined. (Use the paddle attachment and turn it off as soon as the mixture combines).
Add the milk if not added before and mix well.
Wait until it cools down a bit so you don’t cook the eggs and add them one at a time while beating in low speed. Increase it to medium speed and beat for about 1 minute more.
Add the cheese and keep beating until it all comes together nicely. Add more milk or water if necessary to have a good consistency, not too hard and not too soft. Good enough to roll using your hands or to use two spoons and pour the batter onto the baking tray.
Make small balls (use cold water on the hands and it will be easier to roll) and place them onto a non-greased baking tray.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.
Enjoy them with your homemade Requeijão!