Quesadilla herreña, a gastronomic symbol of the Canary Islands

The quesadilla herreña or quesadilla de El Hierro is an artisan dessert that is very typical of the Canary Islands and more specifically of the island that gives it its name: El Hierro. This pastry is prepared in the shape of a flower and its main ingredient is cheese from El Hierro.

Quesadilla herreña, a dessert with history

The first quesadillas herreñas were cooked at the beginning of the 20th century and were born in the kitchen of the same family that still makes them on the island today, the owner of the Adrián Gutiérrez e Hijas factory. Here, this sweet is made following the same recipe from 1900 and in a wood-fired oven, a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation and which has become the gastronomic symbol of the island.

Quesadilla herreña by Adrián Gutiérrez and his daughters

This factory is located in the municipality of Valverde, but this dessert is prepared in the same way all over El Hierro, as it has become a tradition in the island's recipe book.

How to prepare an authentic Herreña quesadilla

It is simple, quick and inexpensive to prepare, which makes the quesadilla herreña the perfect dish to prepare at any time of the year. Here is the traditional recipe for quesadilla herreña so that you can prepare it at home.


1 kilo of Herreño cheese (this is what gives it its characteristic flavour; 200 grams of flour; 400 grams of sugar; four egg yolks and three egg whites; a spoonful of honey; cinnamon; matalahúva; lemon zest and salt.

Quesadillas herreñas ready to eat


First of all, the cheese has to be crumbled very well, the best way is to use a potato masher and grind it, and add a pinch of salt. Next, add the rest of the ingredients to the cheese , leaving the flour aside, and stir and knead to form a paste. Subsequently, the flour is added progressively, so that it is well integrated.

Quesadillas herreñas ready to bake in the oven

Next comes the assembly phase. This requires the traditional flower- or star-shaped mould. The moulds are greased, floured or covered with baking paper to prevent the dough from sticking. The dough is then poured into the moulds. Once this step has been completed, they are placed in the oven, preheated to 180º, for approximately 50 minutes.

Once the pastry is golden brown, remove from the oven. Leave to rest and remove from the mould. And now you have your Herreño dessert ready to eat.

Herreña quesadilla

If you are interested in typical Canarian recipes, but especially in desserts, here are the links to other articles to sweeten your mind and your palate by cooking them: rapadura, a different Canarian sweet; bienmesabe canario, a very simple and delicious dessert; frangollo, a finger-licking Canarian dessert.

And of course, if you want to visit the island and try the quesadilla herreña right there, we recommend this article with essential places to visit in El Hierro.

Paula Vera

Photos: Pinterest.es, informaciongastronomica.com, en.wikipedia.org, quesadillasadriangutierres.com


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