I am taking you to the streets of Toscana with the classic Torta della Nonna.
Flakey tender shortcrust filled with luscious lemon pastry cream & sweet buttery pine nuts.
The perfect sweet finale!
Yield 10 Servings
Mis en Place
300 Grams All Purpose Flour
100 Grams Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Honey
1 Egg Yolk
45 Grams Whole Milk
125 Grams Soft Unsalted Butter
500 Grams Whole Milk
120 Grams Egg Yolk
120 Grams Granulated Sugar
35 Grams Cornstarch/ All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp. Raw Pine Nuts
Powdered/Confectioners Sugar to Finish
Make Shortcrust Pastry
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine softened butter, vanilla, lemon zest and salt.
Add honey and sugar, then the egg yolk.
Slowly add flour alternating with whole milk starting and ending with flour until it just comes together.
Lightly knead dough together and divide in half into two smooth rounds.
Wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill/ let dough relax for 1 hour minimum.
Make Pastry Cream Filling
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, starch of choice and vanilla paste/extract.
In a medium saucepan heat milk with zest of 1 lemon until it comes to a gentle simmer.
Slowly pour hot milk into your mixing bowl while whisking to ensure no curdling occurs.
Pour your hot mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat.
Using a whisk continually whisk mixture until it starts to come to a simmer and thickens.
Once it starts to boil, continue to whisk for 1 minute to cook out the taste of starch.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl so that it is smooth and zest/lump free.
Place plastic wrap onto the surface and chill until cool.
Lightly butter the tart pan and preheat the oven to 350 F.
Soak pine nuts for 5 min or so in warm water (helps prevent burning when baking).
On a lightly floured surface roll one dough to 1/4” thick and lay into a tart pan pushing into the pan removing any air pockets. Trim excess and dock the pastry with a fork.
Spoon cooled pastry cream into the shell and smooth evenly.
Slightly wet the surface of the edge of the dough in the pan with water or egg white on the tip of your finger to create a sticky surface.
Again on a lightly floured surface roll out the second dough round to 1/4” thick and carefully lift and place over the pastry cream layer. Press lightly to ensure you seal the edges together. I like to take my rolling pin and roll over the tart pan to create a good seal and cut off the excess dough.
Sprinkle drained pine nuts over top, place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden.
Once baked, cool at room temperature and then remove the tart ring carefully.
Dust/ sift powdered sugar over top and serve at room temperature or chilled.