Mar 15, 2008

Torta della Nonna- A Slice of Tuscan Sun

Torta della Nonna

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!

Torta della Nonna slice

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.

Torta della Nonna making 2

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.

For pastry:
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!


test it comm said...

That looks so good! The lemon and vanilla filling sounds amazing!

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...


Anonymous said...

This looks incredibly delicious! Would love the "english" version of your combination... Can't wait to try it!

Melita said...

Thank you guys!
Sally; I'll post a recipe sometime tonight, check back! :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, that's the most scrumptious looking and beautiful Torta Della Nonna I have ever seen!



Brilynn said...

That looks awesome! All of you are making me want to make it too!

Melita said...

Thanks Rosa, and Brilynn!

Brilynn, you should make it. It's yummy, makes you feel good, and easy to make! Oh, you'll make it ;)

Anonymous said...

Ovo je fantastično, svaka čast! Velika mi je želja napravit ovu tortu, prvom prilikom!! ;)
p.s - prekrasne slike

Alejandra Ramos said...

So yummy and beautiful! This is one of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

*pull hair* these are so deliciously beautiful! nice pics medena! :D i am so gonna try this soon! For this coming week, i am gonna make the inherited apple turnover cake u shared 1st! :P will keep u inform about it! :)


diariodicucina said...

Foodblogger dream?: someone copy your recipe and like it! Thank you to have placed your trust in me.


Melita said...

Thank you all!!! :)))
You are most welcome diariodicucina! Thank you for such wonderful cake! I am just in love with this cake, it was my pleasure to make it, and eat it!
It was only better the next day! Mhmmmmm! Guys, you better try this one!

skoraq cooks said...

Whooooa. This looks absolutely divine and delicious :-D

rhid said...

Yum! This looks scrumptious!

Antonio Tahhan said...

YUM! I had this cake while I was in Italy and I had to photograph it after having one bite of it:
I've been meaning to make it at home, so I can't wait to try out your recipe!

Unknown said...

I made this 2 days ago! It was a major hit, and went really well with some ice cream. I did use cornstarch, like you recommended, and could that be why my filling wasn't as yellow? Is there a way to make the filling have more of a lemon taste? Overall, this dessert was not only tasty, but absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

Melita said...

Wow Jenny! Thanks you for trying out so many recipes from my post, and I am glad you found them to be tasty.

For this cake, I think just adding more lemon rind would be fine to get more lemon taste.
1 or 2 tablespoon of corn starch wouldn't make it less yellow ---the yellow in my cake is from really good farm eggs, their yolks are much richer than store bought ;)
I made it again for my Easter yesterday, and it was just same taste and all but very light yellow (store bought eggs). Perhaps add some food coloring...
Thank you again, I am so happy to see people try the food I make. Thanks for stopping by!

Yvonne Randall said...

This takes me back to Italy with a wow! Greta cake and fantastic pictures.

Anonymous said...

I would like to try your recipe. It looks very enticing. What size pan did you use? thanks!

LunaCafe said...

Lovely! I am working on a version of Torta della Nonna this weekend to celebrate the arrival of "Miss Lily". I especially love the way you did the top crust. Very pretty! ...Susan

Paolo said...

It should not be as thick, use much less cream...

Ray Mizzoni said...

Buongiorno Medena! How high are the sides of the pastry up the wall of the pan? what kind of pan did you use? Grazie, ciao.