easy desserts & recipes: quid quo pro latin 101 with a torta di ricotta recipe (ricotta cheesecake)
Both of my children have or are taking Latin in school. My youngest took it for two years and is now taking French. My oldest, who struggled through a year of Spanish is now taking Latin and loving it. I find it extremely interesting and as the “quizzer” during study time I’ve enjoyed learning a few Latin words and phrases.
Cross word puzzles are notorious for using Latin words and phrases as clues and since I love to do crossword puzzles helping my children study their Latin has helped me. The word “amas” is very popular in puzzles as well as “amat” and “esse”. “Sine qua non” and “quid pro quo” are two very popular phrases. “Sine qua non” means “an indispensable condition” or “a condition without which it could not be”. The term “quid quo pro” means “something for something.” Today we use the term “quid quo pro” as meaning a favor for a favor.
“Quid quo pro” should be the unofficial motto of the blogosphere. And, “sine qua non” can back it up. We are all out here, doing our thing, writing our blogs and hoping for readers. The blogging community is tremendously supportive of each other and that is something that we love about it. There is an unofficial etiquette of “quid quo pro” amongst bloggers. This etiquette is “sine qua non”; it is an indispensible condition of blogging.
We have met some wonderful people through our blog. Well, hell, if you read our story you’ll realize that, we, at myFudo, met through our own individual blogs. The blogosphere continues to amaze us in its ability to educate and connect.
In the spirit of “quid quo pro” we’d like to thank you for reading by offering you a virtual taste of an ancient Roman cheesecake. But, we’d much rather you enjoy it in the real world so please try it on your own. You’ll find you’ll want to share it with others for it is delectamentum!
We are giving you two recipes that you will find amoenus (delectable): (1) The original ancient Roman recipe found in Cato’s book “De Agri Cultura” and (2) my Nonna’s recipe, a modern variation of the ancient recipe, torta di ricotta.
Libum (This recipe was found at Food.com, but is actually from the book, “A Taste of Ancient Rome”) “They call it a cheesecake. It is actually more like a cheese bun/cake with honey on it. The recipe was recorded by Cato (De Agri Cultura). This is a sacrificial cake sometimes offered to household spirits when the Romans honored them. Do not think Modern cheesecake. It isn’t a thing like it.”
1. How to blur the background of your photos by switching your camera to Aperture Priority, Nikon uses a dial switched to “A”. Zoom in, choose the lowest F-number. This not only works with portraits but any subject.
2. Get creative, go to the park, or in your back yard, let the green tree’s serve as a backdrop, when blurred, your subject is highlighted even more. Make use of that old picnic table you have back there.
Half a cup of plain flour
One cup of ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
Half a cup of clear honey
1. Sift the flour in a mixing bowl.
2. Beat the cheese until soft, stir into the flour.
3. Add the beaten egg to the flour/cheese mixture, forming a soft dough
4. Divide the dough into four and shape each piece into a bun
5. Place on a greased baking tray with a fresh bay leaf underneath.
6. Heat the oven to 425F – 220C. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown.
7. Warm the honey, pour into a flat plate, place the buns in it and rest till the honey is absorbed.
Torta di Ricotta
For the Crust
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
Large pinch of salt
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
For the Filling
1 pound ricotta
1 cup honey
3 whole eggs
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon orange zest
Directions for Crust
1. To make the crust: Combine the dry ingredients stand mixer bowl and with the paddle attachment running on low, add the butter. Texture will be coarse.
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour into the flour mixture and mix until just combined. If the dough is too crumbly add a tablespoon of chilled water.
3. Divide the dough into two balls or leave as one. You can divide the dough according to your use: tartlets, large pie dish, tart pan, etc. Flatten the dough to resemble a thick pancake and chill for at least 45 minutes.
Directions for Filling and Assembly
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a dough ball to fit into the size pan you are using. If you have extra dough or the second ball, freeze it to use on another day. Line the baking dish with the dough, making a decorative trim if so desired. If not simply trim the extra dough.
2. Place in freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. To make the filling: whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. In a large bowl mix the ricotta, honey, orange zest and lemon zest. As that is mixing pour in the eggs. Mix until well combined. Chill until dough is finished chilling.
5. When the dough is ready add the filling. Whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush the crust with this mixture.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and then let cool for an hour before refrigerating for at least an hour. After the pie is chilled it is ready to serve.
Guest Photography 1st Photo David Hsu
Second Von (Brand Camera Kodak)
Model: Canon EOS 30D