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Torta della Nonna

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Torta della Nonna is a Tuscan cheese tart, and, according to Leonardo Romanelli, one of the few consistent highlights in the "dreary Florentine pastry scene". He notes that it's difficult to find it made with ricotta in bakeries, because of ricotta doesn't keep so well, but that's what you'll find at home.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes


  • ** For the Crust **
  • 4 1/5 cups (500 g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 4 or 5 egg yolks
  • The grated zest of an orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (200 g) powdered sugar -- the kind without cornstarch in it
  • A pinch of salt
  • ** For the Filling **
  • 12 ounces (300 g) fresh ricotta
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 pint (500 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (60 g) flour
  • 4/5 cup (180 g) sugar
  • ** To Decorate It **
  • An egg yolk
  • A handful of peeled blanched almonds or pine nuts
  • Confectioner's sugar


Prepare the dough by mixing the ingredients gently, without handling them over much (a pastry blender will make things easier), and chill the dough for an hour in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, lightly whisk the yolks and the sugar, then sift in the flour, mixing carefully to keep lumps from forming, and then add the milk in a thin stream, again stirring gently. Once the mixture is smooth, gently heat it, while stirring carefully, until it begins to thicken. Once it reaches a very slow boil, count to 120 while stirring gently and it is done; transfer it to a bowl because it will cream to cook in the pot, and let it cool thoroughly. Mix the ricotta into it.

Preheat your oven to 370 F (180 C).

Roll out the dough and use half of it to line a crostata pan (a low-sided 10-inch pan). Pour the ricotta mixture into the middle of the pan, forming a mound, and cover it with the remaining half of the dough, tamping the edges down firmly to seal them.

Whisk the remaining egg yolk, brush it over the top of the torta, and scatter the nuts over it. Bake the torta for an hour, let it cool, dust it with confectioner's sugar, and serve.

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