Torta della Nonna


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.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Torta Della Nonna

Yield: Serves 8

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 40 minss

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.


10 Responses to “Almond Muffins”

  1. 1
    Laney — March 6, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    As I sit here reading this while drinking my morning coffee, all I want to do is reach in to my computer screen and take one – they look fabulous!


  2. 2
    Marian — March 6, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    That recipe looks wonderful Is the yogurt a substitution for another ingredient, or a modern twist on an old favorite?


    Deborah Reply:

    No, the recipe I had always had yogurt in it. I just always have fat free Fage on hand so I used that.


  3. 3
    Dixie — March 6, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

    If I can’t find Greek yogurt I use regular, plain or berries and drain the yogurt in yogurt strainers overnight in the refrigerator. Works well for me. Deborah have you used these strainers?


    Deborah Reply:

    Yes, I use strainers to make Yogurt Cheese. Greek yogurt is sold in almost every store lately so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.


  4. 4
    Pefkohori — March 7, 2012 @ 1:24 am

    I love the yummy classic muffins, but banana and almond must have cute aroma! The perfect treat for my girls – I think I’m going to make these this week. Thank you for the recipe!


  5. 5
    Francine — March 8, 2012 @ 9:01 am


    I tried this recipe … and everyone LOVED the muffins. I made some plain, some with each kind of fruit … something to please the whole family.

    I didn’t have Greek yogurt but made my own “yogurt cheese” by draining the liquid from regular plain yogurt by scooping it into a sieve lined with cheesecloth and resting it on top of a bowl to drain.

    Question: Do they freeze well?



    Deborah Reply:

    Francine, they freeze great! I just thawed a couple this morning from the freezer.


  6. 6
    katie — April 1, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

    and how are you topping them in the picture? streusel? powdered sugar?


    Deborah Reply:

    Powdered sugar.


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