Torta della nonna (Grandma's custard pie)



Torta della nonna (Grandma's custard pie)

Who doesn't remember going to restaurants with their parents in the mid-eighties and early nineties? The most awaited moment: the dessert cart! And among very high mountains of profiteroles, tempted by tiramisu and panna cotta, in the end the winner was…Grandma’s custard pie. With its pleasant and genuine taste, custard pie is always a must! A timeless classic, it is a perfect cake after a Sunday lunch that we want you to enjoy at its best, by preparing a delicious fragrant shortcrust and divine custard. There are at least two versions of the pie: an open one, with the base and the cream directly garnished with pine nuts and powdered sugar, and a closed one, with a double layer of shortcrust pastry and custard in the middle. We have opted for the latter. We hope that your choice on the cart of Giallozafferano desserts will lead you here at least every now and then!


Ingredients for shortcrust pastry (10-inch diameter pan)
Eggs 2 - medium
Flour 00 2.65 cups (450 g)
Sugar ½ cup (160 g)
Butter 1.65 cups (200 g) - cold from the fridge
Lemon peel 1
For the custard cream
Whole milk 4 ½ cups (750 g)
Eggs 3
Egg yolks 1
Sugar 2 cups (225 g)
Cornstarch 2 ¼ tbsp (35 g)
Flour 00 2 tbsp (30 g)
Lemon peel 1
To sprinkle and decorate
Pine nuts 3.3 tbsp (25 g)
Powdered sugar to taste

How to prepare Torta della nonna (Grandma's custard pie)

To prepare custard pie, start with the shortcrust pastry: in a mixer, place the flour and the cold butter from the fridge cut into small pieces 1, then turn on the mixer to obtain a sandy mixture: it will take a few moments. Transfer the sandy mixture to a pastry board, create a basin in the middle pour the sugar 2, and add the eggs in the middle 3.

Grate the peel of 1 lemon (preferably untreated) 4 and mix the ingredients briefly, 5 just enough time to compact the shortbread and give it the shape of a loaf, flatten slightly and cover with plastic wrap 6. Put the shortcrust pastry in the fridge to firm up for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make the custard: place the milk 7 in a small saucepan, peel 1 lemon with a vegetable peeler, ensuring not to peel the bitter white part 8; add the peel to the milk and heat it over low heat (it should almost boil) 9.

In a bowl, crack the 3 whole eggs and the yolk, pour the sugar 10, then mix the ingredients. When the sugar is absorbed, add the flour and the corn starch sifted in a sieve 12; mix well.

In the meantime, remove the lemon peel from the milk 13 and remove the pot from the heat to slightly dilute the eggs beaten with the sugar and dry ingredients with a little hot milk 14. Mix well, then put the pot of milk back on the stove and pour in the mixture with the eggs 15.

Continue to cook slowly and stir the cream with a whisk, as it tends to thicken (16-17), it will take about 10-15 minutes. Once ready, move it to a low, wide baking dish 18

and cover immediately with plastic wrap 19. Let it cool to room temperature. In the meantime, take the shortcrust pastry, lightly flour the work surface and spread it out until it forms a disc 1/10 inch (2-3 millimeters) 20 thick (you can place the shortcrust pastry between two sheets of baking paper to roll it more easily). Butter and flour a 10-inch (26 cm) diameter pan; roll the shortcrust pastry on a rolling pin and unroll it on the pan 21.

Make the bottom and edges adhere by pressing with your fingers 22  and eliminate the excess dough which you will use to make the top shell. Poke the bottom with the prongs of a fork and pour the custard which will have cooled in the meantime 23. Roll out the leftover shortcrust pastry and unroll the disc over the pan to cover it 24.

Using the rolling pin on the pan can help remove the excess edges (you can freeze the pastry that is left over and use it another time!) 25; poke the surface 26 then distribute the pine nuts 27.

The custard pie is ready to be baked! Cook in a static oven preheated to 320° F (160° C) for 50 minutes on the lower shelf; after, move it to the middle shelf of the oven and cook at 355° F (180° C) for 10 minutes. If you notice that the surface darkens too much while cooking, you can cover it with aluminum foil. Bake the pie 29 and let it cool completely before sprinkling it with powdered sugar, then serve as a delicious snack or dessert at the end of your lunch 30!


You can keep the custard pie in the fridge for a couple of days. If you prefer, you can prepare the shortbread in advance, freeze it, and thaw it when needed.



If you prefer you can try the open version: sprinkle the custard with pine nuts and bake as indicated; before serving, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar! You can freeze the leftover pastry to bake another pie on another occasion!