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TN&M in the Kitchen: Torta della Nonna (Italian Custard Pie)

By: Jasmine Boni-Ball Writer & Journalist | Specialist Fashion & Travel

Torta della Nonna (Italian Custard Pie)

Serves 12/14 slices - Cook in 2 hours with chilling time for the dough


Shortcrust pastry

- 400g all-purpose flour

- 200g butter, diced room temperature

- 4 egg yolks 

- 150g granulated sugar 

- Salt


- ½ lemon, grated zest

- 8 egg yolks 

- 1 vanilla pod, cut in half (seeds removed) 

- 250g granulated sugar 

- 1L fresh whole milk 

- 80g all-purpose flour 

- Topping 

- 120g pine nuts 

- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar  


Step 1

Start by preparing the shortcrust pastry. In a large bowl sift the sugar, flour and add a pinch of salt. Add the diced butter and 4 egg yolks. Knead until you have a smooth and even mixture. Make a smooth ball, wrap with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Step 2

In the meantime, prepare the custard. Place the milk in a medium saucepan (keeping aside one glass of milk), add the grated lemon zest, vanilla pod and stir on low heat. Leave the mix too steep, and bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat and discard the lemon zest and vanilla pod.

Step 3

Add the remaining glass of milk to a bowl, mix in the 8 egg yolks, flour and sugar. Add the custard base to the hot milk, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the custard is thick, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat, place the custard in a large oven dish, cover with cling film and leave to cool to room temperature.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (°C), and grease a cake pan (around 9-10 inches in diameter) with butter and flour. Roll out ⅔ of the pastry to a thickness of around ¼ inch (½ cm). Cut out a circle and flip it into the tin, using your fingers to press the pastry into the surface of the tin. Remove any excess pastry, and pierce the surface with a fork.

Step 5

Pour the cooled custard into the pastry shell. Roll the remaining pastry dough into a thin circle large enough to cover the top of the tart, place on top and pinch the edges together. Pierce the surface with a fork and brush with milk or water (optional). Sprinkle with pine nuts, making sure to press them gently into the surface. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden. 

Allow the tart to cool before adding a final touch of powdered sugar. Buon Appetito!

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