Torta della Nonna, the Italian custard pie

Grandma’s Pie: an inevitable dessert on Italian tables

Torta Della Nonna (Grandma’s Pie) is a famous and delocious italian pie. It’s the perfect cake for breakfast and also as a dessert and it’s loved by young and old alike. It’s the homemade cake preferred by Italians thanks to the simple and genuine ingredients.


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A jewel of Italian cuisine

Torta della nonna has its origins in Florence. Was created by the chef Guido Samorini who has been challenged by his clients to create a new dessert. This new creation made pleasure in taste and novelty. The original recipe wants a soft shortcrust pastry and filled with plenty of thick Italian custard and garnished with pine nuts and powdered sugar. According to Pellegrino Artusi, however, this recipe is older than Samorini’s one.

All the varieties

This pie is quite popular everywhere in Italy, in fact it has a lot of variants. The most famous is Torta del nonno (Grandpa’s Pie) a similar recipe with the addition of cocoa in the dough of the shortcrust and pine nuts are replaced with almonds. It has other variants as for example Torta della nonna with white chocolate or Torta della nonna with orange cream.


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The traditional recipe of Torta della Nonna


  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g butter
  • 450 g plain flour
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 160 g sugar


  • 750 ml milk
  • 225 g sugar
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 35 g maizena
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 g plain flour


  • 25 g pine nuts
  • powdered sugar

Starting from the shortcrust, put flour and the butter in a mixer (cut in small pieces) and let transform them in blasting. Then transfer the compound on the table and pour into the centre of it the sugar, eggs and the peel of the lemon. Knead the compound, give it a loaf shape, cover with film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile create the custard: put milk and the peel of the lemon in a pot and heat over low flame. In a bowl break 3 eggs and 1 yolk and add the sugar; when the sugar will be absorbed add the flour and maizena (that have to be sieved).

Take out the peel of the lemon from the milk and take off the pot from the flame. Merge the compound with the milk and continue cooking over a low flame stirring with a whisk (10-15 minutes). When your cream will be ready transfer it in a backing dish and cover with foil in contact.

Roll out the shortcrust till to form a disc (2-3 mm thickness). Butter a backing tray and put the compost in. Poke holes the bottom and pour the cream. Put above the remaining shortcrust, poke holes and add the pine nuts.

Cook the pie in the lowest floor of a static oven (preheated 160°) for 50 minutes and then raising up the temperature at 180° and move the pie to the middle floor of the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Churn out the pie and let it cool down. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Cover photo by Seksak Kerdkanno from Pixabay