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Torta della nonna

Course Dessert
Cuisine Tuscan
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 8
Author Giulia


Ingredients for the short pastry

  • 300 g of tender wheat flour
  • 150 g of raw cane sugar
  • 5 g of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 150 g of butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg

Ingredients for the Italian custard

  • 660 ml of whole milk
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod, split open
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 66 g of flour
  • 150 g of cane sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients to finish the cake

  • 60 g of pine nuts
  • 1 egg


  • Make the short pastry first.
  • Mix the flour with the raw cane sugar and the baking powder, finally add the grated zest of a lemon and a pinch of salt. Add the diced butter and rub all the ingredients with your fingertips to make soft crumbles, just as grated Parmigiano.
  • Beat the egg in a bowl, then add it to the crumbles and keep rubbing the ingredients with your fingertips until you have a nice and smooth ball of dough. If you have rubbed thoroughly the butter and the flour it will take only a few minutes and you won't overheat the pastry, which will eventually be crumbly and light. Flatten the dough ball with your hands, wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge.
  • Now let’s make the Italian custard which is not as thin as the English one, so aim for a thick and velvety consistency.
  • Heat the milk in a saucepan with the zest of a lemon and a vanilla pod, split open.
  • In the meantime whisk the eggs with the yolks, then scoop in the flour and the sugar with a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly to remove any lump.
  • When the milk is simmering pour a few tablespoons of into the egg custard to heat the eggs and avoid scrambled eggs and stir, then pour the rest of the milk and bring back to low heat.
  • Stir continuously until the custard is thick.
  • Let the Italian custard cool down and prepare the short pastry case. Butter and flour a 26 cm round loose bottom mould.
  • Divide the short pastry in two parts, one slightly bigger than the other.
  • Roll out the large one with the help of some flour and a rolling pin to line the mould. Prick the bottom of the cake with a fork, then blind bake the cake for about 12 minutes at 180°C.
  • Fill the case with the Italian custard, then roll out the left pastry dough and cover the cake. Remove the excess dough and seal the edges.
  • Brush the cake with a beaten egg and sprinkle with pine nuts.
  • Heat the oven to 180°C and bake the cake for about 30 minutes, until golden.
  • Let the cake cool down completely before dusting with icing sugar and slicing it.
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