Italian custard pie

Italian custard pie
  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon Hands-on time 60 min, oven time 30 min, plus cooling and chilling

Eleonora Galasso’s take on her Italian grandma’s custard pie (also known as torta della nonna) encases a rich white chocolate custard in buttery pastry and tops it with toasted pine nuts. It’s perfect for an indulgent afternoon treat.

Check out our Italian ricotta tart too for a rum and citrus-spiked twist.

 

Nutrition: For 10

Calories
574kcals
Fat
29.3g (14.7g saturated)
Protein
10.1g
Carbohydrates
66.6g (32.2g sugars)
Fibre
1.9g
Salt
0.1g
Calories
574kcals
Fat
29.3g (14.7g saturated)
Protein
10.1g
Carbohydrates
66.6g (32.2g sugars)
Fibre
1.9g
Salt
0.1g

Ingredients

  • 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 medium free-range egg yolks
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 30g white chocolate, shaved or grated, to decorate

For the custard

  • 4 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 50g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 50g white chocolate, roughly chopped into chips

You’ll also need…

  • 23cm diameter loose-bottomed metal tart tin

Method

  1. First, make the custard. Whisk the egg yolks, 50g flour, milk, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring continuously with a spatula, for 10 minutes or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir the chopped white chocolate into the hot custard and mix until it has melted and the custard is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Put the flour for the pastry in a mixing bowl, then add the butter and a pinch of salt and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Form a well in the centre of the mixture, then put the sugar, egg yolks and lemon zest in it. Briefly mix everything together by hand to form a smooth dough, adding a little extra cold water if it feels too dry (try to avoid working the pastry for too long, as you’ll melt the butter – no one wants greasy pastry). Wrap the dough in cling film, then put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes (or see Make Ahead).
  3. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and grease a 23cm diameter fluted tart tin with butter. Divide the dough in half, then, on a floured surface, roll each piece into a 25cm disc using a rolling pin. Line the base and sides of the tin with one of the discs, pressing gently to fix it in place. Trim off any excess.
  4. Pour in the cold custard, then cover with the second pastry disc. Pinch the edges together with your fingers to seal the pie, trimming off excess pastry as necessary. Sprinkle over the pine nuts, then bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the pine nuts are well toasted.
  5. Remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove from the tin, shave or grate over some white chocolate to decorate, then slice and serve.

Recipe from As the Romans Do: Authentic and reinvented recipes from the Eternal City by Eleonora Galasso

delicious. tips

  1. Prepare the pastry (step 2) up to 48 hours ahead and keep wrapped in cling film in the fridge. The whole tart can be made up to 24 hours ahead; cool, cover with cling film and chill.

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