Happy Tuesday! This next recipe is one of my favorites because it reminds me of my favorite place, Italy! In college I had an amazing opportunity to study abroad and work in Florence at the cutest little restaurant, "Ganzo". When I wasn't in the restaurant working on the line, I was taking product identification classes and tasting amazing Italian foods and wine (really hard I know). On one of the tours I tried the most amazing Torta Della Nonna! Torta Della Nonna or a "grandmothers tart" is a delicious and delicate pie made with a soft shortcrust pastry and filled with plenty of thick Italian custard (Crema Pasticciera). It's garnished with lots of pine nuts and icing sugar. I loved it so much but wanted to make it bite size so I didn't feel as guilty! When I made these cute little bites I used a small cookie cutter and made this amazing tart into a bite size sandwich! It turned out so yummy! I hope you enjoy!
—Michele Figliuolo | Food is Good F.I.G.
Torta Della Nonna Bites | Makes 60 small bites
In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale then stir in the corn flour. Put the mixture in a sauce pan over low heat and add the warm milk, little by little. Once it starts to thicken, add the vanilla and the lemon zest. Stir constantly over medium heat with a whisk until thickened about 10 minutes. You are looking for a consistency similar to mayonnaise. Prepare an ice bath and add the finished pastry cream into the bowl over ice water.Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic is touching the surface of the pastry cream so it does not develop a skin. Once cooled transfer to a piping bag with desired tip or a zip-block bag with the corner tip cut off.
Sweet Pastry Crust:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a food processor combine flour, sugar, egg, water and lemon zest until combine. Dust some extra flour on a clean surface and bring crust together to create a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap pressing the ball down into a disk and transfer it to the fridge for about an hour.
Once the dough is chilled roll it out to 1/2 an inch thick. Cut out 1 1/2 inch circular rounds with a small cookie cutter. Bake off these small cute rounds for about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the rounds to cool.
Once cooled combine the powdered sugar, zest and water to create the iceing. Dip the cooled rounds into the icing and top with the chopped pine nuts.
Making the bites:
Take the finished cooled and iced cookie rounds and pipe some of the pastry cream in a swirl. Top with another iced round. Continue until all rounds are complete and finish with powdered sugar.