Basil & Ginger Meringue or How to Make a White Roman Tart

Standard

This savory tart should be fluffy not dense. If a dense tart was wanted the cook would use:

  1. egg yolks not whites and
  2.  hard cheese not creamed

All ingredients should be room temperature (except the melted butter).

The recipe calls for adding foam and carefully not adding the liquid left after beating. This liquid is water. With the creamed cottage cheese being so wet, the pie would take longer to cook or become soggy if more liquid was added.

The rest of the redaction choices are easy–the cook gives very precise measurements.

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To make a white Roman tart. Take a pound of white cheese of cream, then take the whites of six eggs, & beat then well until a foam forms on the surface like snow, & let a little stay in without beating, then take the foam from thereon, & cast it into the cheese, then beat the whites at the top until again foam forms on the surface like the first time, & cast onto the cheese, & make again two or three times as such, then take two ounces of melted butter, a little ginger, a little chopped basil, & make the tart, & cook like the others. Master Lancelot de Casteau, Ouverture de Cuisine (1604)

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb cottage cheese, creamed
  2. 2 branches basil, stems removed, chopped small
  3. 1 tsp ginger, grated
  4. 2 oz butter, melted
  5. 6 egg whiles from small eggs (1/2 cup), whipped
  6. 1 deep dish pie crust

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Pour cheese into large bowl, then cover with basil, ginger, and butter but do not mix. Then cover with egg whites and gently fold ingredients together. The basil will be bright green and show if the batter has been mixed together.
  3. Slowly pour batter into pie shell. Its ok if the mixture is taller than the crust, it is more or less the final height on the tart.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or meringue is browned and doesn’t have a liquid-jiggle in the middle when pan is tapped.
  5. Serve hot or once cooled.

Modern: make it in little ramkin dishes as souffles because OMG adorable. 

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4 thoughts on “Basil & Ginger Meringue or How to Make a White Roman Tart

  1. daviddfriedman

    1, Why do you interpret “white cheese of cream” as cottage cheese, which I don’t think is made from cream?

    2. Modern meringue is made with egg white beaten stiff. The “foam” in the recipe sounds like something different, but I haven’t tried to see if I can get something that fits the description.

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    • Cottage cheese is made from cream. Ricotta, which is usually recommended for redaction, is a whey cheese. I wanted something soft that I could quickly buy. I made this tart again with cheese I made from hanging (goat) yogurt so I could taste it and it worked better, and was fluffier

      Please let me know what you do for your experiments. I’m interested in other interpretations of the foam.

      Like

    • With this recipe redaction? You added cream to cheese? Is this the tart you’ve shown me before? Was that an egg white tart? I don’t remember. This is the first time I’ve made a egg white tart instead of an egg yolk tart in recent memory. I’d love to see more, to compare with this one.

      Like

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