This is a traditional Tuscan dessert that can be found in a myriad of variations. I prefer this version which uses ricotta cheese which is more commonly found made by home cooks. Because ricotta cheese does not keep so well, many bakeries sell a version made with eggs and milk instead. I have also tasted Torta della Nonna pies made with raisins soaked in liqueur added to the recipe, which is delicious as well. If pine nuts are difficult for you to find, you could also substitute slivered almonds.
Deborah Mele 2011
Torta Della Nonna
A traditional Tuscan tart filled with ricotta cheese and flavored with pine nuts.
- 14 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (1 3/4 Sticks)
- 2 1/3 Cups Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 5 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water
- 2 Cups Fresh Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- Zest And Juice From 1 Lemon
- 3 Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 3/4 Cup Pine Nuts (1/4 Cup Removed)
- For the pastry, place all of the ingredients in a food processor, process 10 seconds.
- Add a little more ice water and pulse briefly after each addition just until the dough comes together.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth, and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Once the pastry has been completed, mix together the ricotta, sugar, lemon juice and zest, flour, and eggs until it is creamy.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the pine nuts.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9 to 10 inch tart pan.
- Cut edges cleanly around the top of the tart and pour in the filling.
- Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts on top, and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly and the tart is lightly brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.