Torta Inivre Recipe

A fifteenth century Italian recipe taken from the De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, it was essentially a Chicken pie topped with sugar and rose water.

ORIGINAL RECEIPT:

Make your crust in the way you usually do for pastry; and when it is rolled out, put meal over it so that it can hold up all around, and put it in a pan near the fire to dry out. Then, when you have removed the the meal from the top crust, put in boiled chickens or pigeons cut in morsels, with almond milk, two egg yolks, and a little saffron, ginger, cinnamon, verjuice and rich juice. When it is cooked, take it from the oven and pour over it sugar and rosewater. Aesculapius Romanus praises this dish becasue it is very nourishing, helps the stomach, kidneys and liver, fattens the body and strengthens it, increases fertitlity, and stimulates deadened passions. Thus it is that Archigallus often uses this food.

MODERN RECIPE:

  • 1 deep 9″ pie shell
  • 1 chicken, whole or in pieces
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch saffron
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup verjuice or vinegar
  • chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs. rosewater

Pre-bake the pie shell, using pastry weights or raw rice (substituting for the meal of the original recipe) to weigh down the bottom. Bake the shell until it just begins to brown. Remove from the oven, remove the weights, and set aside.

Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Boil the chicken until tender; drain well but reserve the broth. When cool, remove the bones, skin, & gristle & chop the meat into small pieces. Set aside.

Bring the broth to a boil; season with salt & pepper, reduce heat and allow to simmer for at least an hour. (1/2 cup of white wine or ale may be added to strengthen the broth.)

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, almond milk, egg yolks, seasonings, & verjuice or vinegar. Add enough of the broth to thoroughly moisten the mixture. Taste for flavor & adjust the seasonings as necessary.

Place this mixture in the pie shell. Bake in a 375º F oven until the filling is bubbling, approx. 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with sugar, then rosewater. Serve hot or cold.

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