Torta della Nonna


Torta della Nonna is a traditional Italian dessert, typically made with a shortcrust pastry base, filled with a sweet custard or cream, and topped with pine nuts and grated lemon zest. It is a rich and indulgent treat that is perfect for sharing with friends and family.


  • 1 quantity shortcrust pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • For the filling:
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornflour
    • 1 cup (250ml) milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • To finish:
    • 1/4 cup (60g) pine nuts
    • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 20cm (8-inch) round tart tin. Trim the excess pastry, then prick the base all over with a fork.
  3. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry is dry and golden.
  4. Whisk the egg and milk together, then brush the pastry all over with the egg wash.
  5. Bake for a further 5 minutes, until the egg wash is dry and the pastry is golden brown.
  6. To make the filling, whisk the egg, egg yolk, sugar, cornflour and milk together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter. Pour the filling into the cooked pastry shell.
  8. Sprinkle the pine nuts and lemon zest over the top of the tart.
  9. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Potential changes & improvements:

If you are looking for a lighter version of this dessert, you could use a reduced-fat shortcrust pastry and a lower-fat custard filling. You could also swap the pine nuts for chopped almonds, or use a mixture of both.

Works Well With…

This dessert is best served on its own, or with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

Common Mistakes:

The most common mistake when making this dessert is not cooking the custard filling for long enough. Be sure to cook it until it is thick and bubbling, otherwise it will be runny and will not set properly.

Nutritional Information:

This dessert is high in fat and calories, so should be enjoyed in moderation. It is also a good source of protein and calcium.


This recipe contains eggs, milk, wheat and nuts. It is not suitable for those with allergies to these ingredients.

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