Torta Della Nonna (Grandma’s Dairy-Free Custard Pie)


This dairy-free custard pie is a “dessert” recipe entry in the So Delicious Dairy Free 3-Course Recipe Contest, submitted by reader Marisa Raponi. To aid the custard base, she uses the light richness of Coconut Milk Beverage or AlmondMilk from So Delicious.

Torta Della Nonna - Grandma's Dairy-Free Custard Pie

So Delicious Dairy Free 3 Course Recipe Contest BadgeAccording to Marisa, this classic Italian comfort custard pie is great for mid-afternoon tea or espresso. She has converted the traditional recipe to a dairy-free version, which is less fattening.

For more details and to enter the recipe contest, see this post:

Special Diet Notes & Options: Dairy-Free Custard Pie

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Note that this recipe does use eggs to get that custardy base. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?

For a tree nut-free and dairy-free custard pie, simply omit the pine nuts.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Torta Della Nonna (Grandma’s Dairy-Free Custard Pie)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was submitted by Marisa Raponi for entry in the So Delicious Dairy Free 3-Course Recipe Contest.
Serves: 1 9-inch pie
  • 1-2/3 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free non-hydrogenated margarine or shortening
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water, whisked together
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Icing / powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Stir together the yolks, sugar, vanilla and flour. Heat the milk beverage to just bubbling. Pour ¼ cup into the yolk mixture to temper, stir to mix.
  2. Pour mixture slowly back into the milk beverage, whisking and cooking on medium-low until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a line with your finger down the custard without it moving the custard is done.
  3. Stir in the zest and alcohol or extract. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap.
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
  2. With your hands gently knead the dough to form a ball. Cut into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger piece between 2 sheets of floured wax paper to a measurement of 2" larger than the base of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the dough in ungreased pan, pressing up the sides to form edges.
  3. Spread cooled custard evenly over the bottom of the pastry.
  4. Roll out the second piece of pastry and fit it over the custard. Pinch the pastry edges together.
  5. Brush the egg wash over the pastry and sprinkle with pine nuts.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30-40 min. or until golden on top.
  7. Let cool. Remove from pan and dust with icing sugar.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I made this for company over the weekend and it turned out beautiful and delicious. I would only suggest either greasing the bottom of the spring-form pan, or lining the bottom with parchment, as the dough did stick after baking, and it was a bit of a challenge removing it without breaking the bottom crust. Otherwise, this is a lovely dessert. Thank you.

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