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Torta de Melones (Apricot/Cheese Tart)

Caryl de Trecesson (Carol Hanson)

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From Libro del arte de cozina (1599) by Diego Granado, as quoted and translated on the SCA-cooks list:

Torta de melones

Tomase el melon limpio de la corteza y de las semilla, y que no este muy maduro, y cortese a bocadillos, y haganse freyr poco a poco con manteca mezclandolo con la cuchara de contino, saquese y dexese enfriar, y passese por el colador, y a cada dos libros de melon frito an~adansele seys orizas de queso de Tronchon or Parmesano y seys onzas de rqueson, or queso fresco bien majado, seys onzas de queso de Pinto mantecoso una onza de canela, media onza de pimienta, seys onzas de azucar, diez hiernas de hueuos frescos, o a lo menos seys con las claras, y tengasa la cazuela tortera vntada con mateca, con vn ojaldre de pasta algo gordo hecho de la flor de la harina, agua rosada, hiernas de hueuos, manteca de vacas, y sal, y su torillon ojaldrado alrededor, y pongase dentro la composicion, y hagase cozer en el horno con manteca derretida por encima, y en estando casi cozida hagase la corteza de azucar, y canela, y en estando cozida siruase caliente. Desta manera se puede hazer de los duraznos y aluaricoques, y ciruelas mal maduras.

Melon Torte

Take melon cleaned of the rind and the seeds, and which should not be very ripe, and cut it into bite-size pieces, and fry them bit by bit with lard, mixing them with a spoon, take them out and let them cool, and pass them through a strainer/colander, and to each two pounds of fried melon add six ounces of cheese of Tronchon or Parmesan and six ounces of curds, or fresh cheese well mashed, six ounces of fatty/full cream Pinto cheese, one ounce of cinnamon, half an ounce of pepper, six ounces of sugar, ten fresh egg yolks, or at least six with the whites, and grease the torte pan with lard, with a leaf of somewhat thick/rich dough ["ojaldre"= often "puff-pastry"] made with the best flour, rose water, egg yolks, butter, and salt, and layer the tart all around and put the mixture in, and let it cook in the oven with melted lard over it, and when it is almost cooked make the crust with sugar and cinnamon, and when it is cooked serve it hot. In this way you can make it with underripe peaches and apricots and plums.

2 commercial puff-pastry sheets
16 oz. apricot preserves
3 oz. shredded fontina cheese
3 oz. ricotta cheese
3 oz. brie, softened
1-1/2 tsp. + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 c. + 1/4 c. white granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 TB. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Beat eggs lightly. Mix together with apricot preserves, cheeses, 1/3 c. sugar, 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and the black pepper. Grease a large baking sheet and lay out the puff pastry sheets on top. Form a raised edge on each pastry and put half the mixture on each. Sprinkle with melted butter. Bake for 1/2 hour. Mix the 1 tsp. cinnamon with 1/4 c. sugar and sprinkle over the tarts. Bake for an additional 1/2 hour. Remove from the oven; slice and serve warm.

This is a "quick and dirty" version of the original recipe that can be made at any time of the year since it uses apricot preserves rather than underripe apricots (or melon, peaches, or plums). There still exists Tronchon cheese but it's not easily found. According to one source, it has a "smooth, buttery, fresh flavor and springy texture." I used Fontina as being a similar style cheese. For "curds, or fresh cheese well mashed," I used Ricotta, and I used Brie for the "fatty/full cream Pinto cheese." I didn't add a lot of sugar, since the preserves were already sweetened.

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last modified on Nov. 25, 2002

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