Recipe: Roman Pear Pudding (patina De Piris)


Honey goes well with pears, and, surprisingly, it doesn’t go at all badly with cumin. The fish sauce is just a subtle background element. This recipe calls for both honey and passum, the two main sweeteners used in ancient Rome. Passum was a wine made from raisins and would have tasted like sweet Marsala.

3 pears

Black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon sweet Marsala or Sherry

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon oil

1 egg

Peel, quarter and core pears. Place in saucepan and simmer in water to cover until tender, about 10 minutes.

Puree 2 pears until smooth and return to saucepan. Chop remaining pear coarsely and add to pureed pears. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cumin, honey, grape syrup, fish sauce and oil to pears. Stir over medium heat until warm.


Beat egg and add 3 teaspoons of hot pear mixture, whisking between additions, to temper. Then stir egg mixture into puree and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Sprinkle with pepper to taste and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Each serving contains about: 238 calories; 258 mg sodium; 106 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 46 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 3.51 grams fiber