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Torta Della Nonna

Thursday night I had an Italian Dining workshop and Torta Della Nonna was the dessert on the menu. The name means grandmother’s cake, and is a Tuscan and Roman classic. There are many variations – well, grandmothers vary don’t they! But are always a custard filling flavoured with citrus zest and often contain ricotta like this one.  Some are just a pastry base but others are topped with pastry also. You will nearly always see some sort of Torta della Nonna on sale in pastry shops – they generally look like custard tarts or flans.

The beauty of holding workshops often means there is ‘stuff’ left over so with some pastry and pastry cream left I was able to make a few individual tarts. Most fitting for the Torta Della Nonna I used my Nan’s very original tart dishes which must be at least  40 years old which I remember her using when I was a child.

The quanties below will make a 26cm flan dish

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 180g of flour
  • 110g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 50g of icing sugar.

Method – Pastry

  • Preheat oven on ‘bake’ to 180C.
  • Flour a 24cm – 26cm tart tin
  • Place the flour, sugar & butter in a bowl.
  • Work the ingredients together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg and bring dough together then flatten slightly.
  • Rest dough in fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out.
  • Roll out thinly to fit pastry tart tin

Ingredients – ricotta cream:

  • 250g of ricotta
  • 3 eggs & 2 yolks
  • 300ml of milk (room temperature, not straight from the fridge)
  • 60 g of plain white flour
  • seeds of one vanilla pod
  • 150g of sugar.
  • Zest of one orange
  • 100g Pine-nuts to decorate.

Method – ricotta cream

  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds.
  • Sift in the flour and whisk whilst adding it.
  • Add the milk and whisk again to combine.
  • Put the mixture in a pan on a low heat and stir continuously until it starts to thicken.
  • Add the ricotta & orange zest to the custard, mix and pour into the pastry case.
  • Sprinkle top with pine-nuts.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar.
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ooh, custard tart with a twist – they look and sound gorgeous.

    I seem to have got rather behind with my blog reading lately. Are you running the workshops?

    September 14, 2010
  2. Bev #

    Oooooh yum! This is going to be attempted very soon…………..

    September 16, 2010

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