Although its name literally means “little cheese” it has no cheese at all. Quesillo is a type of flan; however, a bit more firm. Our family puts a “secret” ingredient which gives our quesillo an extra kick.
Multiply the ingredients to make a bigger quesillo or double to make two quesillos.
1 can of condensed sweetened milk
1 cup of milk
3 whole eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of brewed unsweetened Cuban coffee (expresso coffee if you prefer)
For the liquid caramel
½ cup of regular sugar
A few teaspoons of water
1 empty can of cookies or any other container that can be closed and placed in an oven proof tray with water, commonly know as “baño de maría”.
For the liquid caramel: wet the sugar with a bit of water and bring to a caramel consistency by heating it on the stove. Pour into the container (cookie can) before it hardens. Swirl the container (can) so it covers the bottom and sides. Let it cool and harden.
For the quesillo: Mix all the other ingredients in a blender and pour it on top of the cool, hardened caramel.
Close the can and place inside the oven on top of a tray filled with half an inch to an inch of water at about 275 F degrees. It must cook for at least 4 hours or at least until the mixture hardens. Check the water levels so they don’t dry and overcook the quesillo.
Let the quesillo cool a bit in the can before turning it over into a serving tray. You can use decorated tin cans as gifts. Make sure to take it out of the can for longer periods and store in the refrigerator.
Place cherries or strawberries on top to make the perfect dessert for celebrations of any kind, especially for Christmas.
Recipe contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Elianne González.