Custard Pie with Pine Nuts & Almonds
This is a traditional Tuscan dessert. The combination of rich pastry, delicate custard and toasted nuts makes for a special treat indeed.
Torta della Nonna translates as the “Grandmother’s cake”.
Hope you will enjoy this very special treat.
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- for the pastry
- 4 c
- all purpose flour
- 1 c
- 4/5 c
- egg yolks
- lemon, zested
- 2 oz
- raw almonds, garnish
- for the custard filling
- 2/3 c
- 1 pt
- egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp
- fresh vanilla pod
- 5 oz
- pine nuts, lightly toasted
1For the Custard:
2Split open the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil gently.
3In a large bowl, vigorously beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the result is light in color and frothy.
4Add the flour and beat well.
5Add the milk gradually (remove the vanilla pod, scraping out the seeds into the milk), beating constantly with a whisk.
6Slowly reheat, stirring constantly, always in the same direction, until quite thick.
7It will thicken even more once it cools. Allow to cool with clingfilm (saran wrap) touching it so that a skin does not form.
8Add the toasted pine nuts to the cooled custard.
9For the Base:
10Line a large (30 cm, 12 in) ovenproof tart dish with baking paper.
11On a wooden work surface, mix together the flour, sugar and butter, cut into little pieces.
12Rub the butter into the flour and sugar, until it is completely worked in. Work lightly so that the butter does not melt.
13Make a mound out of this mixture and make a well in the center. Add the eggs yolks and lemon zest.
14Work the ingredients together, first with a fork, then with your hands, until you have a smooth, soft pastry dough.
15Wrap the pastry dough in clingfilm and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
**Ideally 2 hours, especially in warm weather**
17Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F
18After the pastry has rested in the refrigerator, divide in two, and delicately roll out one half to the size of the tart dish (approx 1 cm/half inch thickness).
19Pour in the custard.
20Roll out the remaining pastry dough and place on top of the custard, closing the pie.
21Decorate with the almonds.
Try not to handle the pastry too much at this stage.
22Bake at 170°C/340°F for 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the almonds toasted.
23Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar.