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Mexican Cheese Squares (Quesadillas)

ingredients

8 pastries
350 g (12 oz) 3 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
175 g (6 oz) 12 Tbs Butter, chilled
2 Small eggs, lightly beaten
3 - 4 Tbs Iced water
2 Tbs Milk
2 Tbs Sugar

for the filling

225 g (8 oz) 1 cup Cottage cheese, strained
1 Egg, beaten with 2 egg yolks
125 g (4 oz) 1/2 cup Castor (superfine) sugar
1/8 tsp Mixed spice or ground allspice
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup Currants
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Vanilla essence (extract)

method

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the beaten eggs with 2 tablespoons of the iced water and mix into the flour mixture with the knife. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Knead the dough gently and form into a ball. Wrap in foil and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to fairly hot 200°C (Gas Mark 6, 400°F).

3. To make the filling, beat the ingredients together until they are well blended.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Roll out one-half of the dough on a lightly floured surface, to a rectangle large enough to line a 18 cm (7 in) by 28 cm ( 11 in) baking sheet. Lift the dough on a rolling pin and place over the sheet. Spoon over the filling, spreading it to within about 1/2 cm (1/4 in) of the edges. Using a pastry brush, moisten the edges of the dough with a little water.

5. Roll the remaining dough out to a rectangle large enough to cover the filling. Lift the dough on to the filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Cut a slit in the centre of the dough and trim the edges. Discard the trimmings. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the dough with the milk and sprinkle over the sugar.

6. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake the dough for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into eight squares and serve.

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