Chongos zamoranos (sweet cheese pudding in syrup)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 \N 2 quarts who milk
4 \N Tablets rennet; finely crushed
1¾ cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla
2 \N Cinnamon sticks (ea. 3 \" long); broken up
2 cups Water or liquid from chongos

In a 4 - 5 qt. pan, heat milk over low heat to 110F degrees. Mix in rennet with cold water, ¾ cup of the sugar and vanilla. Stir thoroughly into milk. Let stand at room temp until set. (About 1 hr.) With sharp knife, cut straight through mixture to bottom of pan creating a grid like pattern of 1 - 2 inch squares. Set pan over lowest heat and cook, uncovered, until the chongs are white and tender-firm to the touch. (About 6 hrs.) Do not stir during this cooking time. Check mixture occasionally to be sure it is not hot enough to cause motion in the pan, which will break up chongos. In 3 - 4 qt. pan, combine cinnamon, remaining 1 cup sugar, and water (or use the chongos liquid carefully siphoned out of the pan and pouring through cheese cloth or paper-towel-lined sieve adding enough water to make 2 cups). Bring sugar/water mixture to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Turn off heat. With a slotted spoon, gently transfer chongos to hot syrup. Let stand until luckwarm or chill prior to serving. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. To serve, spoon several chongos and some syrup into individual bowls.

NOTES : Prep time- 25 minutes; Standing time- 1 hr; Cook time- 6 hrs.

Although cooking time is long for this dessert, once the initial prep time is complete (about 25 minutes) and you allow for the standing time, you then basically allow this 'pudding' to cook undisturbed for 6 hours so it's not an overall time consuming nor laborious task.

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