Among the courses linked to the strong tradition with a predominantly family character, handed down over the centuries orally, the ricotta and sour cherry tart is a great classic of Roman Jewish cuisine.
It seems that the origins of this pie date back to the eighteenth century, when some papal edicts forbade Jews to trade dairy products. So, to avoid the papal guards controls, some bakers thought of hiding the ricotta between two tiers of shortcrust pastry, blending it with sour cherries to make it less visible.
In Rome, at the Portico d'Ottavia, in the ancient Jewish Ghetto, a fundamental tart is prepared in one of the historical bakeries, whose recipe is kept secret still today and handed down from generation to generation.
This delicious dessert looks like a disk of shortcrust pastry, covered with sour cherry jam on which lays another tier of ricotta cream flavored with sambuca, all covered with a second disk of shortcrust pastry.
Here is our recipe to prepare it at home:
To make the pastry base:
- 400 g of flour 00
- 200 g of sugar
- 200 g of butter at room temperature
- 4 egg yolks
- Lemon peel
To make the filling:
- 400 g of ricotta cheese
- 120 g of sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 spoons of sambuca
- 1 jar of sour cherry jam (or cherries if you can't find that of sour cherries), 350 gr. about
First of all it is necessary to prepare the pastry. Make a fountain with flour and sugar, then cut the butter into small pieces and place it in the center of the fountain.
Add the egg yolks on top of the butter and knead all the ingredients as quickly as possible until they form a smooth ball. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using it.
When the pastry is cold, butter and flour a 24 cm baking tray. At this point, crush the dough on the bottom and set aside enough to make the decorative strips of the tart to be placed on the surface of the cake. Spread a layer of jam on the raw pastry.
In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta with the sugar, the egg and the liqueur, then pour everything into the baking tray. Decorate the cake with shortcrust pastry strips as for a tart and bake at 180 ° until completely golden, for about an hour; considering that the cooking time also depends on the width of the mold and the thickness of the pastry and cream, check at 45 minutes and then let the cake cook again if it is not well cooked.
Cool the cake and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Photo credits: Forno Boccione - Gambero Rosso Official Website