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Torta della Nonna

Italian Custard Tart: Torta di Nonna

  • Author: Carrie Pacini
  • Category: Desserts


Torta di Nonna is an Italian custard tart that is a combination of a rich pastry dough baked with a pine nut custard that taste just like Christmas!

Torta di Nonna translates to “Grandmother’s Cake” and this is my family recipe that I am sharing with you. We always make this dessert during the Christmas Holidays.

Marla came over and we made this dessert together. Her first reaction when she took a bite was “Oh my God, this taste like Christmas”! And it does!



Crust: Pasta Frolla

1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour (sifted)
Pinch of salt
7 tbsp of chilled butter
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of Potato Starch
12 tbsp of ice water
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp of vanilla extract

Filling: Custard

4 Egg Yolks
1 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Cream
1/2 Cup of pine nuts
3/4 Cup of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Flour
1 teaspoon of grated Lemon Zest
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract


1. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour
2. Cut the chilled butter into pieces and add to the bowl (use a mixer or if you don’t have one you can simply use a fork)
3. Mix the butter into the mixture until you have a fine crumblike mixture
4. Mix the egg yolk with the water until blended and drizzle over the mixture
5. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla
6. Continue to stir until the mixture starts to stick together in little lumps
7. Gently press the small lumps of the pastry together using the heel of your hand forming a rough ball
8. Knead gently for a second until smooth and cover with plastic wrap
9. Chill for at least 1 hour if not overnight
10. For the filling in a bowl mix the egg yolks with the sugar and blend
11. In a pot on medium heat add the milk and the cream
12. Next add the mixture of sugar and egg yolks to the pot
13. With a whisk begin to stir in the potato starch, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract
14. Turn heat to high and continue to whisk for about 3 minutes
15. Once it starts to thicken turn the heat on low and add the pine nuts and continue to whisk
16. Take off the heat and let cool for about 30 minutes to room temperature


1. Once the custard is a room temperature fill in the tart and back in the oven at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.

2. When you see the custard start to brown a bit (see pic) take the tart out and let cool before serving.

3. You can also store in the fridge and serve the next day. Just always make sure to bring it up to room temperature!

Keywords: Desserts, Italian Dishes, Tarts, Custard Tart