The Torta della Nonna (Grandma’s Pie) is a yummy pie, filled with plenty of thick custard called Crema Pasticciera, sprinkled with pine nuts and icing sugar. The recipe was originally created by Guido Samorini around the mid-twentieth century.
What makes this pie so great is simplicity! I think if you have a favourite shortcut pastry and pastry cream recipe you have everything to prepare this dessert.
- 250 g flour
- 125 g sugar
- 125 g butter
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 egg yolks
- Zest of one lemon or lime
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 handful of pine nuts for the top
- Icing sugar for serving
- 1 beaten egg for the egg-wash
- 3 egg yolks
- 100 g sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp corn starch or gluten-free flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 250 ml double cream
- 400 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or the seeds of a vanilla pod
- Place the pine nuts into the water with ice for about half an hour, then dry them on a piece of kitchen towel, so the nuts won't burn during the baking.
- Mix the egg yolks with the sugar by a hand mixer.
- Incorporate the other ingredients and mix them together till you get a combined dough.
- Wrap the dough into cling film and put it into the fridge for a few hours.
- Cut the dough to get a bigger and slightly smaller part.
- Roll the bigger part of the dough on a floured surface till you get a round shape that is about 0,5 cm thick.
- You can wrap the dough around your rolling pin till you transfer it to the lined pie mould. Cover the mould and create an edge from the dough.
- Fill the dough base with the cold cream filling, and try to heap more in the centre.
- Roll the smaller dough part to get a round shape and cover the cream, close the dough edges and poke the top crust layer by a fork at random places.
- Give it an egg wash then sprinkle with the pine nuts.
- Bake your pie at 160 °C for 30 minutes.
- After it cooled down completely, just sprinkle the top with icing sugar and serve the first slices.
- If the cream came out too soft, no worries! Just place the pie into the fridge, it will set a little bit!
- Heat up the cream and the milk with the vanilla paste till the mixture starts to boil.
- In the meantime mix the egg yolks with the sugar, then incorporate the flour and corn starch.
- Add half of the hot creamy milk into the egg-flour mixture and stir them for a minute in the mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour this mixture back into the pot to the other part of creamy, vanilla milk, stir it constantly till it thickens on medium heat.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter till it completely melts.
- Place the pot into and another one with ice water in, cover the surface of the cream with cling film, so a skin won't form on the top.
- Let the cream cool down till room temperature, then it's ready to fill the short pastry base with it.
I support the 'Cake for breakfast' movement :) so I suggest you enjoy your morning with a big slice of Italy on your plate!
As a result of an inspiring collaboration, Sasha O'Connor from Lively Bakery prepared the gluten and dairy-free version of this recipe. For the recipe, simply send a message to Sasha. Click here to see my choice in this recipe exchange.