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Torta della nonna is a traditional dessert from the regions of Tuscany and Umbria.
For the cream filling:
2 egg yolk 75 gr caster sugar
135 gr plain white flour 575 ml milk
slivered almonds and/or pine nuts for the topping
For the pastry:
350 gr plain white flour 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
75 gr caster sugar 100 gr butter
1 ½ tsp baking powder

First make the cream. Heat the milk until it starts to boil, then remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until they form a ribbon. Stir in the flour, blending well. Add one tablespoon of the hot milk to the yolk, sugar mixture and blend in well with a wooden spoon. Add the mixture to the milk and return to heat, stirring until the cream thickens. When thickened, pour into a clean bowl and brush the surface with some melted butter to stop a skin from forming. Allow to cool.

Toast a generous handful of almonds and pine nuts on a baking sheet until they are slightly browned.

To make the pastry, sift the flour and baking powder into a mound an a pastry board or other work surface. Make a well in the middle and put all the other ingredients into the well. Work everything into the dough with your hands. Form the dough into a ball and chill in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. When ready to use, cut the dough in half, roll out one half into a circle 3 mm thick and place in a 20.5 cm greased pie plate. Make sure that there is about 1 cm hanging over the plateís edge. Pour the cream onto the pastry base making sure that the middle is somewhat higher than the edges. Fold the pastry rim inwards and brush with water. Roll the remaining piece of dough out to fit and place gently on top of the cream. Press well onto the pastry border and trim off any excess. Top with the almonds and pine nuts and bake in a preheated oven at 180o C for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool and sift with plenty of icing sugar before serving.

Source: Forbes (1989)

PIÑON NUT COOKIES (south-western United States)
3/4 Cup piñon nuts, shelled ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour, sifted ½ cup sugar
½ cup butter ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup shortening

Cream the butter, shortening and vanilla. Mix the flour with the sugar and cinnamon and add along with the nuts to the butter mixture. Blend well. Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees (F) for about ten minutes or until light brown. Makes about 24 cookies (Douglas 1981).

3 cups loosely packed fresh basil 1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Olive oil ½ cup Parmesan cheese -freshly grated
1/4 cup Pine nuts 3 Tbsp Romano pecorino cheese OR
3 Garlic cloves Parmesan cheese

Put basil, oil, pine nuts, garlic and salt into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour sauce into small bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and Romano pecorino cheese or extra Parmesan cheese. Mix to blend. Taste and adjust for seasoning. If you plan to freeze the sauce, add the cheese after the sauce has thawed. Yield: one serving.

Source: Mealmaster computerized database for recipes.

450 g sirloin steak 20 mm knob fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Chinese wine 3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp light soya sauce 300 ml vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ginger juice 75 g pine nuts
1 tsp sugar 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 red pepper 300 ml chicken stock
1 green pepper Salt to taste
2 Tbsp cornflower Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the sirloin into cubes and place in a shallow dish. Mix together the soya sauce, wine, ginger juice, sugar and half the cornflower and pour over the beef. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Cut the red and green peppers into small squares, chop the ginger and crush the garlic. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok and stir-fry the red and green peppers for one minute. Pour the remaining oil into the pan and fry the pine nuts until they turn slightly yellow, then remove ands set aside. Add the beef to the same pan, stir well and cook for 20 seconds, then drain and set aside.

Pour most of the oil from the wok, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for one minute, the replace the beef and cook over a very high heat for a further 20 seconds. Then add the red and green pepper and stir well. Add the oyster sauce and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, add the pine nuts and mix well. Finally, mix the remaining cornflower with a small quantity of cold water and stir into the sauce to thicken slightly (Mark 1991).


1 ½ tsp butter 1/4 cup Madeira wine
1 ½ tsp flour Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef broth 1 tsp ground juniper berries
1 bouillon cube

Melt the butter, thicken with flour and stir until smooth. Add broth in which the bouillon cube has been dissolved and simmer at least 15 minutes. Add the wine, juniper berries and seasoning and simmer another 15 minutes. Sauce should be medium thick. Makes one generous cup of sauce. Serve with venison pâté or chaud-froid of game birds (Ochorowicz-Monatowa 1958).


Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste 1 ½ cups heavy (or whipping) cream
2 tsp minced fresh thyme or 10 juniper berries, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme 1 Tbsp green peppercorn, crushed(optional)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil 8 slices (2.5 cm thick) brioche or
1/4 cup genever (Belgian gin), Bombay best-quality white bread, cut into rounds
gin or Cognac slightly larger than the steaks.
8 venison tenderloin steaks (0.5 kg each)

Rub the salt, pepper and thyme onto the venison steaks.

Heat three tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the steaks and quickly sear on both sides, one minute per side. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until medium rare, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a warmed platter and set aside.

De-glaze the pan over medium heat with the gin and add the cream. Add the juniper berries, green peppercorns and salt to taste. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is somewhat reduced and coats a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning.

While the sauce is reducing, melt the remaining three tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and fry the bread until golden on each side. Place each venison steak on a slice of bread and spoon some of the sauce over the top (Van Waerebeek 1996) .

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