Grandmother’s Cake

Serves: 8
Total Calories: 310


1 cup milk
3 large eggs yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons orange liqueur or rum

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
2 tablespoons pine nuts
confectioners' sugar


1 In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Gradually add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the liqueur. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate 1 hour up to overnight.

3 Place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 × 2-inch round cake pan.

4 Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half.

5 Scatter half of the dough evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and 1/2 inch up the sides. Spread the chilled custard over the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.

6 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough to a 9 1/2-inch circle. Place the dough over the filling. Press the edges of the dough together to seal. Brush the egg wash over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. With a small knife, make several slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

7 Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.

8 Invert the cake onto the rack, then invert onto another rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before serving. Serve immediately, or wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Wrap and store in the refrigerator.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 8
Total Calories: 310
Calories from Fat: 122

This Grandmother’s Cake recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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