Torta della Nonna(grandmother's cake) truly is a slice of Tuscan sun!!! I was restless since I first saw a slice of it from Diario di Cucina on TasteSpotting. Then , days later @ fior dizucca also featured on TasteSpotting, and that was it; I knew the first chance I get, I will bite into it! :)))
I have googled it, and there are two versions out there, the one with ricotta cheese (mhmmm), and this one, with lemony, vanilla dream in a torta!
It is everything I have expected, and much more!!! Just enough lemon flavor, the right touch of vanilla, and crowned with pine nuts! Just delectable! I love it!
Both blogs, 'Diario di Cucina', and 'fior dizucca' have similar recipes, almost identical for the pastry, and for the cream I have followed the Diario di Cucina one. I might just post a recipe later, so that those of you who are interested in making it, wouldn't have to run back and forth from one blog to another.
I am just going to add a tablespoon or two of corn starch to make sure I get that really thick filling next time, because even though I have faithfully followed the recipe , I can't make a clean cut through the cream.
I love how easy, and fulfilling it is to make it, and how beautiful it looks; cheerful, and yellow; just perfect "show off" dessert!
Here is how I made it, almost entirely from Diario di Cucina , but with a lot of help from fior dizucca, because I couldn’t translate properly, and there is an English version on ‘fior dizucca’, and that helped to fill in what Google Translate has missed.
300 g flour 00
1 / 2 baking powder (8 g)
120 g butter
170 g of sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
rind of a lemon
For the cream:
3 / 4 liter fresh whole milk
rind of ½ a lemon
200 g of sugar
8 egg yolks
50 g flour 00
1 packet vanilla sugar (14g)
(Other recipe called for vanilla pod)
I have made the cream first; I always do that. So, put the milk, along with lemon rind, and vanilla sugar (or vanilla pod) in a large sauce pan, and bring to boil. In the meantime mix egg yolks with sugar until it’s white, and frothy, then add flour to it (I really would add at least a Tablespoon of cornstarch just to be sure you get a really think cream; I guess not having 00 flour meant a lot).
Stir the egg mixture to boiling milk, reduce heat, and continue mixing for a little longer than 10 minutes, making sure you don’t get lumps. Now take it of the stovetop, and transfer to a different bowl, and let it cool down, mixing it occasionally, as you are doing cleanup, and making pastry. When the cream is cooled down, put it in the refrigerator; the pastry should be sitting next to it! : )
So, when you were done cooking your cream, you made pastry basically by following the shortcrust pastry routine. Sift together flour and baking powder, and then mix in softened butter, lemon rind, then egg and egg yolk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Form into a ball, and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
After an hour, roll out about 2/3 of pastry into a pan; pour in the filling, and remainder of pastry you arrange around the edges on the top. I have done flowers; I love to decorate my cakes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and bake for about 40 minutes @ 180 C (356 F)!
When completely cooled down, dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!