March 13, 2020

Torta della Nonna

Recipe:

Torta della Nonna is one of the most simple yet scrumptious, classic Tuscan desserts, famous for its creamy custard filling.  Enclosed by a thin layer of pastry dough called Pasta Frolla, this delicious dessert is topped with pine nuts and finally dusted by a light layer of powdered sugar.  Let's get started!

Supplies:

Ingredients:

  • Crema Pasticcera 
  • Pasta Frolla - Double the dough recipe that is written for the Pasta Frolla
  • 25 grams pine nuts
  • Powered sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. Initially preheat the wood-fired oven to 400°F - 200°C.  Before the Torta della Nonna is placed in the oven, the temperature will need to drop 320°F - 160°C.
  2. Butter and flour the pan.  
  3. Remove the Pasta Frolla from the refrigerator and place it on the work-surface that has been previously dusted with flour. 
  4. If the dough is too cold to roll out, gently thump the chilled dough with the rolling pin.  This will soften the butter in the dough and make easier to roll out.
  5. Rotate the dough 1/8th of a turn as you are rolling it out.  Doing this will not only keep the dough from sticking to the work-surface,  but will also give it a round shape. 
  6. Massage the uneven edges of the dough by pressing in with the help of one hand or with a bench scraper.
  7. With the help of the rolling pin roll out the dough to the thickness of about 2-3 millimeters or 1/8"inch. 
  8. Use the rolling pin, once again to transfer the dough on top of the pan.  Simply place the rolling pin on one end of the circle and gently roll the entire dough onto it.  Bring it over the edge of the pan and unroll the dough as you ease it in.  Gently press the dough into the pan.   
  9. Using a fork poke small holes into the entire surface of the dough.  
  10. Spread the Crema Pasticcera evenly over the top of the dough.  
  11. Roll out a second circle of dough of the same thickness as the previous one, and transfer it over the Crema Pasticcera.  Trim off any excess and pinch the top and bottom together. 
  12. Sprinkle pine nuts across the top of the dough as shown in the video. 
  13. If the oven is not ready to bake the Torta della Nonna, place it back into the refrigerator. 
  14. At this point it is ideal for the oven temperature to be higher than what it needs to be to bake the Torta della Nonna, even up to 425°F - 218°C. Why?  As you clean the oven floor and take the coals and ashes out, the oven temperature will naturally drop a bit.  This is the reason why you do the cleaning process while the oven is hotter than what is needed for the Torta della Nonna.
  15. With the help of the ash shovel pull out all the hot coals and ashes which can easily be removed, and place them into a metal bucket next to the oven.  Finish cleaning by brushing the oven floor with the brass-bristled cleaning brush. 
  16. Once the oven is cleaned check the temperature of the oven one more time before placing the Torta della Nonna inside.  Check the temperature easily by pointing the infrared thermometer on the stone of the oven where the Torta della Nonna will be placed. It should read about 320°F - 177°C.
  17. Our Torta della Nonna can finally be placed in the pre-heated oven. Once placed in the oven close the door immediately.  Bake at 320°F - 160°C for 40 - 50 minutes. Occasionally open the oven door to check on your cake. 
  18. Remove from the oven once it is a light golden brown color. 
  19. Lightly dust the top of the Torta della Nonna with powdered sugar.  It can be served warm but is even better when placed in the refrigerator overnight.  Enjoy!  
Buon Appetito!

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