They say “necessity is the mother of invention,” and after coming up with this absurdly simple Cheesecake/Quesadilla mashup, I have to say I agree. It started innocently enough with a hankering for a creamy dessert. Normally this wouldn’t be a huge issue in my home as my fridge, freezer and pantry are almost always stocked with the makings of any number of desserts.
Unfortunately I had just moved, and both my fridge and pantry were woefully barren. Since I had some cream cheese, my thoughts wandered in the direction of Banana Cheesecake Potstickers, but with no bananas and no wrappers, that wasn’t going to happen.
I did however have some flour tortillas leftover from making quesadillas, and like a bolt of lightning, inspiration struck with a thunderous roar. CHEESECAKEDILLAS!
With a crisp, buttery, cinnamon-sugar crust and a rich, creamy cheesecake center, these things are good regardless of what you compare them to. But when you factor in the time it takes to make them (less than 10 minutes), I may never make a real cheesecake again. While they’re good on their own, serve them with your favorite fruit coulis and they become a dinner party worthy dessert.
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 small (7-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 teaspoon butter, at room temperature
- Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl, and use a silicone spatula to beat the mixture together until smooth and uniform in color.
- Stir the cinnamon and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Spread a 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto one side of each tortilla.
- Flip one of the tortillas over (so that the buttered side is facing down), and then spread the cream cheese mixture onto the non-buttered surface.
- Top this with the other tortilla with the buttered side facing up. You want to sandwich the cream cheese between the two tortillas with the buttered surfaces facing outwards.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat until the pan is hot, and then add a cheesecakedilla. Fry pressing down gently with a spatula to flatten it (but not enough to squeeze the cream cheese out of the sides) until it's browned and crispy on one side, and then flip.
- Brown the other side, and then transfer it to a cutting board before dusting it with the cinnamon sugar. Slice into wedges and serve with your favorite fruit coulis.
Yield: 1 small cheesecakedilla
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.