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This recipe is not as "cherry" as people would generally expect. Most people who've tried it say that they like it, but they're not sure why.

1 pound cherries
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 cup rose petals
1 pinch black pepper
1 Tbsp. rose water

Grind cherries - if canned cherries are used then drain them before and after grinding, and be careful not to puree them. Note that the flavor of the pie is altered drastically by using dried cherries, giving the finished product a much stronger "raisin-spice" flavor. Mix ground cherries, ricotta, sugar, and eggs. Add ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and rose petals. Mix well and pour into unbaked pie crust. Cover with top crust and bake at 350°F until top crust is golden brown. Just before serving, make a small hole in the top crust and pour in rosewater.

Source [The Neapolitan Recipe Collection, Terence Scully (trans.)]: Torta de Cerase. Tolle cesrase rosse ho piu negre che si possa trovare, he poi caverai fora quello suo osso he pista le cerase in uno mortaro; poi piglia rose rosse he batile - dico, solo le foglie - cum uno cultello molto bene tute; poi habi uno poco de caso fresco he veghio cum specie a discretione, he canella he bono zenzaro cum poco pipero he zucaro, he miscolarai tute queste cose insieme, agiongendoli .vi. ova; et farai una crosta de pasta sopra la padella he cum meza libra de butiro, he ponella ha a cocere, dandoli el foco temperato; he quando he cotta, pone del zucaro he aqua rosata.

Cherry Torte. Get red cherries of the darkest available, remove their pit and grind them in a mortar; then get red roses and crush them well - I mean, the petals alone - with a knife; get a little new and old cheese with a reasonable amount of spices, cinnamon and good ginger with a little pepper and sugar, and mix everything together, adding in six eggs; make a pastry crust for the pan with half a pound of butter and set it to cook giving it a moderate fire; when it is cooked, put on sugar and rosewater.

Published: October 17, 2002



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