Prohibitions sharpen wits, generate inventions and discoveries. This is for sure the case with the sour cherry tart that seems to have been created just to evade a ban.

In 1775 the already unstable life conditions of the Roman Jews were exacerbated by the "Edict over the Hebrew" which, among other things, prohibited Jews from selling bread, dairy products and meat to Christians.

The law, formally motivated by the fear of spreading Jewish eating habits among Christians, actually hid a protectionist intent. At the time the sale of bread, meat and dairy products to non-Jews was particularly flourishing: these products, just because produced in compliance with strict rules of preparation, collection and selection of raw materials, were considered healthier, cleaner and definitely better than those offered by the non-kosher market and, therefore, they were in great demand.

So what to do to circumvent the ban? It was thought to hide the precious ricotta between two layers of dough, so that the checks of the Papal guards could be passed... at least that's the legend.

The tart, rustic and scorched, with its soft and white filling, is still produced in compliance with the kosher rules in the ovens of the ghetto of Rome. And since the sour cherry season is approaching, I hope it will inspire you!


Servings: 1 tart of 24 cm Ø

Preparation time: 2 h (cooling the dough) + 1,5 h


Shortcrust pastry ingredients:
400 of all-purpose flour
200 g of sugar
200 g of chilled butter
4 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon

Ingredients for the filling:
400 g of ricotta cheese
120 g of granulated sugar
1 egg
Sour cherry jam

Ricotta Cream:

400 g of whole mil

500 g of cream

500 g of ricotta cheese

400 g of fine sugar

150 g of eggs

50 g of egg white

60 g of corn starch


1. Prepare the shortcrust pastry: place the flour and sugar on a board, make a well in the centre and place the chilled cubed butter. Add the yolks over the butter and knead all the ingredients very quickly until they form a smooth ball.

2. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

3. Prepare the custard: in a saucepan bring the milk and cream to the boil; in the meantime mix the eggs, egg white, sugar and the corn starch in a bowl.

4. Combine the mixture with the boiling cream and milk and stirring with the whisk, cook until it’s smooth, bright and shiny. Leave to cool down for 30 minutes. After cooling, the custard will be shiny and velvety.

5. Strain ricotta cheese in a colander and add it to the custard, stirring until a smooth and creamy mixture is obtained. Leave to cool.

6. Grease and flour a 24 cm pan. Remove 1/3 of the dough, and roll the rest of the dough out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it’s 4 mm thick.

7. Line the pan with the dough.

8. Spread a layer of jam on the base. Pour the ricotta cream over the jam.

9. Roll out the rest of the dough and place it over the ricotta cream.

10. Bake in a fan oven at 180 degrees C for 40-50 minutes. Leave to cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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