One iteration of this is the very first recipe in Daz Buch von guter spise, and variants appear throughout the book. It’s clear that sour cherries are well used and appreciated in early German cuisine.

The commonalities among the dishes called Concauelite or Konkavelite are the call for cherries, almonds, and rice flour, though there are some minor variations. I opted to make one iteration of the dish, in this case number 83.

For 83, a Concauelit, I assembled the ingredients and measured them out, only to discover that I have no rice flour. After some discussion and consideration, I made some oat flour and continued on.

almonds, cherries, a cherry pitter, a bowl of goose fat, three small bowls with salt, poudre douce, and sugar respectively, and a bowl of oat flour.

the setup.

Recipe: Konkavelite 83

Ingredients

  • ½ lb almonds
  • 2 c water
  • ½ lb sour cherries
  • ½ c sweeter red wine.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp poudre douce (sweet spice mix. Cinnamon sugar is the simplest variant)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ c oat flour. (err on the side of less, it can wind up a little like a superball)
  • 1/4 c fat. Book calls for lard, a mild olive oil would be good. Almond oil would be delicious.

Instructions

  1. Boil almonds til the skins slip, or soak overnight. Pop off the skins, and blender with clean water til it’s liquid. Strain. Save the solids for something else. I have seen modern German varietals of this dish which retain the solids, and can’t say as that’s a bad idea, but it’s not suggested in the original source.  My yield; 1 cup.
  2. Poach cherries in wine til they pop and the house smells great. Watch for burning and sticking.
  3. I ran them through a food mill, the recipe says to squeeze in a cloth. I did not want to lose juice to a bag. If you do this, I strongly suggest pitting the cherries in advance. While the seeds add another layer of almond flavor, they are painful projectiles when flung from a food mill.  My yield; 1/2 cup
  4. Pour cherry juice into almond milk. Simmer.
  5. Add rice (or in my case, oat) flour, simmer til thickening to your preference. I went for a tapioca-like consistency.
  6. Season while still on the heat.
  7. Add the fat a teaspoon at a time, I used a tablespoon. It was starting to look slick, so I stopped.
  8. Recheck seasoning.
  9. Allow to cool, either serve warm or chill for service at a later time.

Ratings

-quite fiddly; several steps

-can be messy! Sticky dishes.

-Very scarce seasonal ingredient.

-Challenging to make larger batches

-contains some of the more common allergens (tree nuts, cherries, wine, sulfites within the wine)

+ a little goes a long way, it is dessert-like.

+ pairs very well with many other dessert options, such as wafers.

+ sour cherries freeze well, and are sometimes available as a bottled juice, therefore this might be manageable out of season.

+ excellent candidate for advance preparation

 

whole cherries cooking til they pop in red winein a small pan

nature's candy

We ate it chilled. The wine was a predominant flavor, the almonds less notable. Sweetness was minimal. It did not particularly make either of us think of a unified dessert, though we both thought it would be a lovely part or ingredient in a more elaborate composition, such as a trifle (not historically appropriate) or with wafers and “food for angels”, a dessert cheese fluff I will visit eventually.

I think I like it best as part of a cheese platter, served with the same wine as is in it.

Concauelit ready to serve warm or to chill.

I would definitely serve this to guests,  but with the awareness that it might be confusing for the palate.