RECIPE - Cheesecake Romeu e Julieta

Brazil's dessert combination of guava paste (goiabada) and fresh white cheese called Romeu e Julieta (click here for more on Romeu e Julieta) has inspired Brazilian pastry chefs and home cooks to create numerous variations on the theme. Some are close to the original and others are flights of fancy that retain little of the original humble dessert but the Shakespearean name.

One of the most common and best elaborations of Romeu e Julieta is a Brazilian homage to New York-style cheesecake (which is translated, surprisingly, into Portuguese as cheesecake). That's not all that surprising as New York cheesecake also combines fresh cheese, in this case cream cheese, with a fruit topping.

This recipe, from the Brazilian culinary website Cybercook, can easily be made outside Brazil. Most Latin American markets carry the guava paste (goiabada) needed for the fruit topping, and any number of white, fresh cheeses can be used - cheeses like ricotta salata or Mexican queso fresco or blanco.


RECIPE - Cheesecake Romeu e Julieta

Serves 10


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar

2/3 cup (150 gr) unsalted butter

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp. freshly grated lime peel


1 lb (500 gr) queijo minas or other fresh white cheese (see above), chopped or cubed

1 can sweetened condensed milk

3 whole eggs

1 tsp. vanilla essence

1/2 tsp. freshly grated lime peel


10 oz (300 gr) gioabada paste, chopped or cubed

1/3 cup (80 ml) water

2 Tbsp. rum, dark or amber preferred


Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

Prepare the crust. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients with a fork, then with your fingers. Do not over-combine. Using a cheesecake form with removable sides, lightly and quickly spread the dough over the bottom of the form, covering it completely, and slightly up the sides.

Prepare the filling. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until light, smooth and consistent. Pour the filling into the cheesecake form, then place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the filling comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the form.

Prepare the topping. In a saucepan combine the goiabada and water over low heat and, stirring constantly, melt the goiabada. When melted, remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Let cool slightly then pour the topping over the baked cheesecake in the form. Let cool completely to room temperature, then place the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the sides of the form, then cut the cheesecake into 10 or 12 serving pieces and serve immediately.

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