Torta della nonna (grandma`s cake) is an italian custard filled shortcrust cake whose origins are not wholly clear. Though clear is, that it is a great cake for every season. Its fresh creaminess brings holiday feelings right into your home. You can keep it in your fridge for two or three days – if it lasts that long. It tastes best on the second day when it is thoroughly soaked through.
For the pastry you need 300 g flour, 50 g grounded almonds, 5 tablespoons sugar, 200 g butter (room temperature), 2 egg yolks. Form a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for about one hour in the fridge.
Meanwhile you can start making your custard filling. For this you will need: 400 ml milk, 3 tablespoons flour, vanilla, 4 eggs, 1 organic lemon, 50 g sugar, 50 g pine nuts.
1. Stir together milk, flour and vanilla and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 5 min.
2. Meanwhile mix together sugar, egg yolks as well as zest and juice of your lemon. (Some do it without lemon juice, but for me it gives the sweetness of this cake the right balance.)
3. No comes the tricky part of making the cream: bringing warm milk and eggs together. Be careful not to produce clotted cream accidently.
Therefore let the milk cool down a little bit and mix it slowly with the egg-sugar-lemon-mixture. Put it back on the stove, heat it till it is just before boiling and stir for another 2 min. Put your custard to the side and move you attention back to your pastry.
4. Cut it in half an roll each part out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Line two round moulds for the bottom and the top of your cake (diameter 26 cm). Form a roll out of the rest of the pastry.
5. Now lay down the bottom pastry in your cake pan, the pastry roll around the edges. Fix it and coat the top with egg white. Puncture the bottom lightly.
6. Spread your custard on the pastry layer.
7. Cover your cake with the second pastry layer. It works best if you still leave it on the plastic wrap and roll it slowly over the cake.
8. Now you are nearly done. You just have to puncture the top of your cake and sprinkle it with pine nuts.
9. Bake it at 180° C for about 40 min. Dust with icing sugar.