Flaó is an authentic dessert from Spain’s paradise island of Ibiza.
It was traditionally baked at Easter but can now be enjoyed year round at local cafes and restaurants.
The ancient dessert dates back to 1250 and is unique in that it combines two popular pastries: a flaky tart and creamy cheesecake.
Our homemade Flaó recipe, also known as a Ibizan Cheese & Mint Tart, is a light dessert perfect for serving at the end of a Spanish dinner party.
The pastry dough is flavoured with Pernod Liqueur and lemon zest while the smooth cheesecake interior features eggs, sugar, fresh mint leaves and Spanish queso fresco.
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What Is Flaó?
Traditionally Flaó was a dessert served at Easter family celebrations but is now available all year round.
Historically, the first recorded mention of Flaó is from 1252. It is also mentioned in Ramon Llull’s book Blanquerna, written in 1283.
Traditional Flao recipes vary based on where you are eating them in Spain. Authentic Flaó d’Eivissa from Ibiza has a circular shape and has a filling of sheep or goat cottage cheese, eggs and sugar, aromatized with fresh mint leaves and aniseed.
Travel to Ibiza by Baking Flaó at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia,Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, France and Italy.
What I love most about traveling to Spain is the opportunity to sample unique dishes in each region and city. The Spanish dishes in Madrid and Barcelona are unique to what you might find on restaurant menus in Salamanca, Toledo, Valencia, Mallorca, Ibiza, Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga.
I spent 3 days exploring the tiny island of Ibiza with my sister on a sun-soaked road trip. Ibiza is most famous for being the epicentre of Europe’s nightlife and celebrity DJ scene. I was on assignment to write about the island’s culinary tourism offerings and rarely went to bed past 11pm!
On our first night in Ibiza my sister and I enjoyed a traditional meal at a local restaurant. It was located off the tourist trail in an unassuming building off a dirt road. After stepping inside the front door, the restaurant came to life as it was filled with smiling local families.
We told the waiter it was our first meal in Ibiza and that we only wanted to eat dishes that were unique to the island. After a sumptuous selection of savoury courses we finished the evening with a slice of traditional Flaó.
I fell in love with the light and herbaceous cheesecake, which we forked through while sipping espresso and a local herb liqueur.
Once back home from an Ibizan holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the regional flavours of Spain and can impress friends and family by making our easy Flao recipe!
Where To Eat Ibizan Cheese Mint Tart
Haven’t traveled to Spain before? It may be helpful to first sample the popular Cheese & Mint Tart at a local restaurant to better understand how it is served. You’ll get an idea for the ideal flakiness of the pastry crust, intensity of anise and mint in the cheesecake and preferred creamy texture of the filling.
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My Family Loves Flaó Ibizan Cheese Mint Tart
Spain was one of the first countries I visited when back packing through Europe in my third year of university.
Years later I would embark on a second trip as a food and travel journalist. I had swapped humble hostel life for luxury hotels and Michelin star restaurants!
My initial visit to Spain included stops in Barcelona, Madrid, Sitges, and Salamanca. When planning my next trip I really wanted to focus on Southern Spain. I dreamed about driving through Andalusia and then hopping on a plane from Valencia to visit the paradise islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.
After falling in love with Andalusian tapas culture and the unique flavours of the Spanish islands I was excited to return home and recreate some of my favourite dishes for friends and family.
I baked this Flaó recipe at our family cottage in Muskoka on a hot summer day. The property has a lush herb garden where my mother grows three varieties of fresh mint.
Everyone fell in love with the Ibizan Mint Cheese Tart I served that night for dessert. Leftovers were enjoyed as a quick and easy breakfast the following morning with a cup of coffee.
Traditional Flaó Recipe Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time preparing Flao at home here are some helpful baking tips.
- Use a fluted tart pan with a removable base so you can easily show off the beauty of the dessert to guests.
- Adding Pernod Liqueur to the pastry dough gives the Ibizan tart a distinct anise flavour.
- We’ve used Spanish queso fresco in this recipe but you can substitue for firm cottage cheese or ricotta.
- Let the tart cool completely before slicing. The cheesecake interior is delicate and needs to get firm before serving or it will fall apart.
- We love to bake Flao in the summer when fresh mint grows in our herb garden. The light dessert is best enjoyed after a Spanish feast with a glass of dessert wine or espresso. We also like to serve it as a sweet treat on an Easter brunch table.
What To Serve With Ibizan Cheese Mint Tart
We love serving this authentic Ibizan tart recipe as a dessert at a Spanish themed dinner party.
In Spain it’s typically served with a glass of dessert wine, herb liqueur or espresso. We like to serve a slice with a scoop of homemade ice cream like vanilla, mint or strawberry.
If you’re hosting a Mediterranean-themed dinner party serve Flao alongside these other popular dishes:
- Berenjenas con Miel Spanish Fried Eggplant
- Smoky Albondigas Tapas Spanish Meatballs
- Sopa de Ajo Easy Spanish Garlic Soup
- Bolo de Caco Madeira Sweet Potato Portuguese Roll
- Portuguese Bean Soup with Kale and Sausage
- Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
- Mediterranean Hummus Pasta with Pesto Chicken
Other Dessert Recipes You Might Enjoy…
- Vegan Flourless Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Espresso Coffee Java Chip Ice Cream
- Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins
- Gianduja Lindt Lindor Chocolate Cake
- Fresh Fig Frangipane Pistachio Tartlets
- Caribbean Coconut Rum Banana Bread Bundt Cake
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Earl Grey Ice Cream
- Sweet Lebanese Sesame Tahini Rolls
- Swedish Ricotta Oatmeal Rhubarb Bars
- Moist Baileys Banoffee Cake
- Flaky Swedish Rhubarb Cherry Pie
- Skittles Sugar Cookies
- Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies
- Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake
- Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
How To Make Traditional Ibizan Flaó
Flaó Ibizan Cheese & Mint Tart
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Rolling pin
- Tart Pan
- Mixing bowls
- 1 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 3 tbsp White Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Anise Seed
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- 4 tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter diced
- 1 tsp Grated Lemon Zest
- 1 Egg beaten
- 4 tbsp Anisette Pernod Liqueur
- 400 g Spanish Queso Fresco
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 12 Mint Leaves minced
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, baking powder, aniseed and salt. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest, fold in the beaten egg and liqueur, and knead briefly until the dough is smooth. For the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minute.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 inch tart pan with butter, olive oil or cooking spray.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough and line the tart pan, cutting and patching the dough if it tears. Prick the base all over with the tines of a fork and press the dough into the walls of the pan.
- To make the filling, in a small bowl, break up the queso fresco with a fork into a coarse mash. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with white sugar, then add the cheese and chopped mint, mixing to combine.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pastry shell. Bake in the oven until firm and lightly browned on top, approximately 50 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate with mint leaves.
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