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Torta della Nonna is a traditional Roman and Tuscan dessert to be found in most Italian bakeries. Rome, the eternal city, produces one version and Naples, the city for the sweet toothed on the Italian mainland, the other.
The cake is delicious, similar to the Pastiera Napoletana and is made at Easter. The Italians aren’t a nation of cake eaters and apart from the small pastries eaten on Sundays and special holidays (that are usually bought at the local pasticceria), they prefer fruit and cheese. However, when they do bake a cake, it’s a symphony and this one is one of the best.
Torta della Nonna
- 250 grams cake flour or 00 flour
- 1 egg large
- 3 yolks
- 100 grams sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil melted with the butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 250 grams ricotta fresh
- 125 grams pine nuts
- 125 grams sugar
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 3 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Make a well in the flour and put the egg, yolks, sugar, butter and olive oil mix into the center to make a stiff dough, similar to fresh pasta.
- Take your time and don’t stress.
- Add the flour little at a time until the liquid in the well is thick enough to bring together with your hands.
- Knead until the dough is smooth and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Make the filling by mixing together the ricotta, pine nuts, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs in a bowl until you have a creamy mixture.
- Roll out the pastry into two circles.
- Put one circle down to line the bottom and sides of your pan.
- Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over this layer and then put the other circle of dough over the top and nip the edges together.
- Put in the oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, keeping an eye on it.
- Remove and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serve with a Vin Santo from Cappezzana.
Other traditional desserts: