[Sca-cooks] Looking for a Roman sweet

Ian Kusz sprucebranch at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 16:12:00 PST 2010

On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM, Raphaella DiContini
<raphaellad at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Greetings,
>   Some of my friends are putting together a Roman feast and they are
> looking for one more recipe to round out the menu. They've already got some
> savory biscuit/ cookies, but they are looking for small sweet that could
> preferably be made in advance as well.
> Please let me know if you have any suggestions, recipes or sources to
> recommend.
> In joyous service,
> Raffaella
> I'm no expert, but I can remember several roman desserts.  I can't speak to
> how they taste.

here's one from http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/08.4histrecept.htm

Appetizer of apricots. Wash firm, early or small apricots, take out the
stone, and put them in the cold [water]. Arrange them in a pan. Pound pepper
and dried mint, moisten with liquamen, and add honey, passum, wine and
vinegar. Pour over the apricots in the dish, add a little oil, and boil over
a slow fire. Thicken [the sauce] with starch while it is simmering. Sprinkle
with pepper and serve


List of ingredients:
6 small apricots<http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/08.4histrecept.htm#Abrikozen>
a lot of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried mint
1 Tbsp. garum<http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/08.4histrecept.htm#Liquamen>or
Asian fish sauce
100 gram honey (about 4 Tbsp., 2 fl.oz)
1 decilitre (1/2 cup) Vino Santo (that is
1 decilitre (1/2 cup) red or white wine
1/2 decilitre (1/4 cup) wine vinegar (red or white)
To thicken the sauce:
2 Tbsp. cold water
1 1/2 tsp. cornflour (cornstarch) (that is

Preparation in advance:
Cut the washed apricots in half, remove the stone. The skin can be eaten, so
just leave it on.
Temper pepper, mint and liquids.

Pour the sauce over the apricots in a small pan, mix well, and simmer for
about ten minutes until the apricots are soft. Remove the apricots from the
Temper cornflour with cold water. Stir well, no lumps should remain. Then
add this mixture to the sauce in the pan and stir until the sauce has
To serve:
Arrange the apricots on a serving dish, or three halves on individual
dishes. Pour the sauce over the fruit, sprinkle with some more pepper if you
dare, and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Romans ate with their hands. So be assured that this dish was not served
piping hot, but warm or luke-warm.

Or, from Apicius:
 129 Another Dish, which can be Turned over [A Nut Custard]
Aliter patina versatilis

The dish, called turn-over, is thus
very fine walnuts and hazelnuts
them and crush with honey, mix in pepper, broth, milk and eggs and a
little oil.3<http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/4*.html#129note3>
135 Elderberry Custard or Pie
Patina de sambuco1<http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/4*.html#135note1>

A dish of elderberries, either hot or cold, is made in this
them; cook in water, skim and strain. Prepare a dish in which to cook
the custard4<http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/4*.html#135note4>crush
6 scruples of pepper with a little broth; add this to the elderberry
pulp with another glass of broth, a glass of wine, a glass of raisin wine
and as much as 4 ounces of oil. Put the dish in the hot bath and stir the
contents. As soon as it is getting warm, quickly break 6 eggs and whipping
them, incorporate them, in order to thicken the fluid. When thick enough
sprinkle with pepper and serve up.
137 Pumpkin Pie
Patina de cucurbitis1<http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/4*.html#137note1>

And pumpkin pie is made
and mashed pumpkin is placed in the pan or
pie dish seasoned with a little cumin essence. Add a little oil; heat
[bake]and serve.

Ian of Oertha

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