A future school event will involve ancient Roman food. This means that today and this evening my 16 year old nephew and I enjoyed shopping and preparing test recipes. The first is Pear Patina. I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be, something like a baked pudding…we shall see. It’s still in the oven. Then there are the honey baked dates…wow, delicious!!
The Romans referred to their dessert course as mensa secunda, or “second table.” They satisfied their fondness for sweets with desserts such as fruitcakes, pudding, sweet egg-based dishes, and sweet cheeses , and in this case, a delicious pear patina.
Grind boiled and cored pears with pepper, cumin, honey, passum, garum, and a bit of oil. When the eggs have been added, make a patina, sprinkle pepper over, and serve.
Modern (serves 4)
- 4 Pears
- Water Or White Wine (To Cook The Pears)
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Pinch Each Pepper And Cumin
- 1/2 Cup Passum (A Modern Version Of Raisin Wine)
- 3 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Cups Milk (Optional)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Poach the whole pears in water or white wine. When they are done, peel and core them, then crush them into a puree, mixing in the honey, pepper, cumin and passum. Beat the eggs, adding the milk if desired. Then blend this into the pear mixture with the olive oil. Pour into a casserole and bake for around 20 minutes at 350° F.
- 20 Whole Dates
- 20 Blanched Almonds
- Cinnamon 25g
Heat the butter until just molten then stone the dates. Dip the almonds in butter and roll the in the cinnamon before stuffing one into each date. Place in an oven-proof dish and coat each date in honey. Pour over the remaining butter and bake in a very hot oven, around 410°F, for 5–8 minutes before serving.