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.

My recreation
3 cups cherries (ground)
8 oz fontina cheese grated
2 lbs ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
¼ cups dried rose petals
1 tbsp cinnamon
1.5 tbsp ginger
A fat pinch of black pepper
6 eggs

  1. Line pan with prepared crust
  2. Grind defrosted frozen cherries
  3. Mix together all ingredients except cherries and eggs
  4. Whisk eggs and add to mixture
  5. Stir in cherries
  6. Pour into crust
  7. Bake for 90 minutes or until done
  8. Paint with rose water and prinkle with sugar when freshly removed from the oven.

Filled crust prior to baking

Finished torte after baking

* Crust
6 oz butter
2 cups white flour
½ tsp salt
¾ cup water (I think I used a smidgen too much by a tbsp or two)

Notes and decisions

  1. My mortar and pestle are too small to contain the amount of cherries to grind, so I used our meat grinder using the largest die
  2. I used food grade dried rose petals because I did not have access to pesticide free food safe fresh rose petals, but I picked over the dried flowers to remove all pieces which were not the petals
  3. I decided to use ricotta for the fresh cheese, I used store bought and did not make my own
  4. I decided to use fontina cheese for my old cheese, it is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that is aged. I could have used Parmesan but elected to use a softer cheese.
  5. I did not use a food processor to bring it together, but my stand mixer with a paddle attachment because it best replicated hand mixing.
  6. A pound in Italy in the period of the recipe was 12 ounces. Since the recipe explicitly called out a half pound of butter, I used my all butter pie crust recipe, adjusted to 6 ounces of butter. It exactly fit my 10 cup crockery pie pan
  7. I probably should have used my 12 cup crockery pie pan because it would have spread the mixture thinner and it would have cooked it faster
  8. I want to try making them muffin sized to be fair I want to try to make all my pies muffin sized at least once