Today’s recipe is one of my favourite cakes. It is a Pine Nut Cake, traditionally from the southern Italian city of Naples. I love anything made with crostata crust as base, but this cake takes it up a notch, with its creamy semolina, milk and pine nut filling. Like the majority of my favourite recipes, this too is made with simple and affordable ingredients (with the exception of the ¼ cup of pine nuts that you need for the filling) and chances are you already have all the required ingredients in your pantry and fridge. It is such a hearty dessert and it is perfect with a cup of your favourite afternoon tea. Try it and let me know how you like it. Buon appetito!
Pine Nut Cake
Pine Nut Cake - a traditional recipe from Naples. It is a crostata filled with semolina cream and pine nuts and one of my all time favourite cakes.
- 250 gms – 2 cups all purpose flour
- 125 gms – 1 cup granulated sugar
- 125 gms – 1.1 stick softened unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch of salt
- 250 ml – 1 cup milk
- 50 gms – 1/3 cup semolina
- 35 gms – 2 ¾ tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 gms – 1 tsp butter
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 30 gms – ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 pinch salt
Put the flour, sugar, butter, egg and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and knead until crumbly. Then quickly knead it by hand until obtaining a smooth dough.
Put the milk, salt, butter, sugar and lemon zest in a pot. Mix and put on the fire.
After a minute, add the semolina and mix well so you do not have lumps.
Cook it for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens like a crème patissière.
Take the crust out of the fridge, place it on a sheet of baking paper and roll it into a 1 cm – 0.4 inch thick sheet.
Put the dough in a greased 20 cm – 8 inch spring form pan. Press it down well and make sure you have dough at the sides as well.
Pour the semolina and pine nut mixture on the top.
Roll the remaining dough, cut some strips 1.5 cm – ½ inch wide and put them on the top of the cake to make a diamond pattern.
Let it cool down completely, then unmould it, dust it with icing sugar and serve.