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Fried Cheese Pies

December 7, 2012

Or, what I’ve taken to calling “Fried Cheesecake.”

In a recent post, I talked about finding a recipe for fried cheesecake in a recipe book from the 1300s. I was asked for the recipe, and now that I’ve tried it out, I’ll share it.

First, the original:

Recipe for Mujabbana (Fried Cheese Pie)

Know that mujabbana isn’t prepared with only one cheese, but of two; that is, of cow’s and sheep’s milk cheese. Because if you make it with only sheep cheese, it falls apart and the cheese leaves it and it runs. And if you make it with cow’s cheese, it binds, and lets the water run and becomes one sole mass and the parts don’t separate. The principle in making it is that the two cheeses bind together. Use one-fourth part cow’s milk and three-quarters of sheep’s. Knead all until [p. 64, recto] some binds with its parts another [Huici Miranda observes that this passage is faintly written and only a few letters can be made out] and becomes equal and holds together and doesn’t run in the frying pan, but without hardening or congealing. If you need to soften it, soften it with fresh milk, recently milked from the cow. And let the cheese not be very fresh, but strong without … [words missing] … that the moisture has gone out of. Thus do the people of our land make it in the west of al-Andalus, as in Cordoba and Seville and Jerez, and elsewhere in the the land of the West [here written as al-Maghrib].

Manner of Making it

Knead wheat or semolina flour with some yeast into a well-made dough and moisten it with water little by little until it loosens. If you moisten it with fresh milk instead of water it is better, and easy, inasmuch as you make it with your palm. Roll it out and let it not have the consistency of mushahhada, but firmer than that, and lighter than musammana dough. When the leaven begins to enter it, put the frying pan on the fire with a lot of oil, so that it is drenched with what you fry it with. Then wet your hand in water and cut off a piece of the dough. Bury inside it the same amount of rubbed cheese. Squeeze it with your hand, and whatever leaves and drains from the hand, gather it up [? the meaning of this verb eludes me] carefully. Put it in the frying pan while the oil boils. When it has browned, remove it with an iron hook prepared for it and put it in a dipper [“iron hand”] similar to a sieve held above the frying pan, until its oil drips out. Then put it on a big platter and dust it with a lot of sugar and ground cinnamon. There are those who eat it with honey or rose syrup and it is the best you can eat.

My recipe

1 8 oz block of cream cheese
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 c honey
Enough dough to wrap around the cheese mix (I used a can of crescent rolls for this trial, but will use a sweet bread dough I will make myself for the day of the feast)
Cinnamon sugar and honey for serving

Enough oil to fry the dough balls

Let the cream cheese and mascarpone come to room temperature in a bowl. Beat the cream cheese and mascarpone together when they are soft. Once combined, beat in the honey.

Take the crescent rolls and roll out the whole thing, pinching together the cuts so you have one rectangle. Cut into squares about 2.5″ by 2.5″.  If you are making your own dough, only let it raise once. Roll it out and cut into 2.5″ by 2.5″ squares.

Put some water into a bowl. Put a tablespoon of cheese mixture into each square of dough. Dab one edge of the dough with a little water, then pinch the dough shut around the cheese mixture. Make sure no cheese is leaking out of the edges, and that the dough is pinched shut all the way around.

Heat your oil to 375°F. Fry the dough balls a couple at a time, until they are golden on both sides (you’ll have to turn them once). Let drain for a few minutes, then dredge 1/2 in cinnamon sugar while still hot. Continue to do this until all are fried. Serve with a side dish of honey (for the undredged fried cheesecakes to be dunked into).

This makes about 15 small fried cheesecakes (or so).  I still had a bit of cheese mix leftover.

Hope you all enjoy making this!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2012 11:58 am

    Thank you so much! This sounds amazingly yummy… Is the original Middle Eastern in origin? Anyway, it’s probably going to be served at my Christmas party.

    Hmm… maybe I’ll make them in puff pastry. I’m on a puff pastry spree lately.

  2. JeninCanada permalink
    December 9, 2012 12:29 am

    Oh damn that sounds GOOD.

  3. Golfboy permalink
    December 11, 2012 1:22 am

    OMFG! That sounds fantastic. With the demise of the Twinkie this more than fills the bill. I’m drooling just reading this. Can’t wait to make it!

    One of my faves is a minnie cheese cake. You make a standard cheese cake batter and and spoon it onto a Vanilla wafer, bake and top with fruit pie filling. Easy peasy Japaneesy.

    On a serious note…. Weight loss surgery is growing at an alarming rate and as bad as that is the worst part is the misinformation about the safety of this procedure. I won’t judge anyone for having it but I warn everyone against it. This site http://www.thinnertimesforum.com/ is shamelessly promoting this dreadful procedure. They are now targeting children!

    Please go to this site and warn people in the chatroom and by private messaging members. They censor anything that tells the truth about WLS dangers. Doing so WILL save lives!

    I do not know how they can get away with this deceptive advertising. They don’t even have a disclaimer. WLS is elective surgery and most elective surgery is safe. WLS is the most dangerous of all surgical procedures.

    I have reported them to the Federal Trade Commission and I would ask that you do the same. http://www.ftc.gov/

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