Grandmother’s tart

Grandmother’s tart

Torta della nonna

By
From
Florentine
Serves
8
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

This is a classic custard tart that all Florentine pastry shops make. It requires a few different steps, such as preparing the shortcrust pastry and pastry cream, but it is actually a very simple and lovely dessert made out of relatively little. You can substitute slivers of blanched almonds for the pine nuts if you wish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g pine nuts
1 quantity Pastry cream, with the zest of 1 lemon added
milk or water, for brushing
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Quantity Ingredient
250g cold unsalted butter
500g plain flour
160g sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 lemons, zested

Method

  1. To make the pastry, first chop the cold butter into small pieces. If using a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and butter until you have a crumbly, sandy texture and there are no more visible pieces of butter. If mixing by hand, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until you achieve the desired result. Mix in the beaten egg and yolk along with the lemon zest, until the pastry comes together into a smooth, elastic ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Soak the pine nuts in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain. This will stop them from burning in the oven.
  4. After resting the pastry dough, set aside one-quarter of it (see note) and roll out two-thirds of the remaining dough and line a 23 cm pie dish. Place a sheet of baking paper over the top of the pastry and place weights such as baking beads (or uncooked rice or dried beans) on top. Blind bake for 10 minutes, then remove the beads and let the pastry cool.
  5. Fill the cooled pie crust with the pastry cream.
  6. Roll out the remaining third of the dough to about 2 mm thickness and place over the top of the tart, trimming the edges. This will shrink a little so leave about 5 mm extra overhang and seal. Brush the top with milk or water and scatter with the drained pine nuts.
  7. Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  8. When cool, dust with icing sugar (if desired) and serve at room temperature.

Note

  • The pastry recipe makes a little more than needed. I save the leftover quarter for making mini tarts or even simple cut-out cookies. It also freezes well so you can save it for later.
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