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Torta della Nonna Recipe

Torta della nonna is one of the traditional desserts made at home throughout Italy but also can be tasted at most restaurants serving authentic Italian food. This simple and elegant cake is made with a soft and velvety pastry cream and two layers of buttery and crumbly pastry dough. All topped with sweet pine nuts.

Torta della nonna has beautifully balanced flavour, which more than justifies its claim to fame, a classic of the Italian cuisine. This popular pie originated from Florence but is also very popular in Liguria.

Torta della nonna

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COOKS IN: 1 hour 20 minutes plus chilling time



  • 450 g plain flour
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 170 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon
  • pinch of salt


  • 1 l milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75 g flour
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • half lemon (peel in one piece)


  • 115 g pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • powdered sugar (for decoration)


  1. Prepare the dough in a food processor, add the flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter cut in pieces. Add the vanilla extract, two eggs and a egg yolk and mix until the dough comes together.

  2. Divide the dough into two pieces - one larger and one smaller. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and put into the fridge for about 1 hour.

  3. To prepare the custard cream place the lemon peel in the milk and warm until hot. In a sauce pan, add the egg yolks, flour, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk well until fluffy. Add a little bit of the hot milk and whisk one more time. Add the rest of the milk while whisking. 

  4. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat when it starts to bubble and cook for one or two minutes. Let is cook for a while.

  5. Grease a tart pan (28 cm)with butter and flour. Roll out the larger dough and make a circle of about 30 cm in diamter. Move the dough to the tart pan and prick the bottom with a fork.

  6. Pour the custard cream on the dough and spread. Roll out remaining pastry and place it on the top of the tart. Cut off any extra dough from the edges and press the edges together to seal. Prick the top with a fork just a little. Brush with some milk and sprinkle with pine nuts.

  7. Bake in preheated oven (175°C) for about 45 minutes until slightly golden on the top. Let it cool down at room temperature first, than one hour in the refrigerator before dusting with icing sugar. Torta della nonna is ready to serve!

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