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Pinolata Senese

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Adjust Servings:
5 Eggs
200 gr Butter
480 gr All Purpose flour
2 lemons Lemon peel
385 gr Sugar
750 gr Milk
35 gr Starch
1 Yolk
25 gr Pine nuts
just enough Icing Sugar

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Pinolata Senese

Real Senese Recipe


    When you want to eat a typical Senese cake

    • Serves 6
    • Medium




    This is a completely Senese recipe. I remember in the eighties when I went to the restaurant with my parents, I looked forward to the most beautiful moment … the dessert time ! And I knew that in the dessert cart I would have found my favoutite cake: “la Pinolata” or for someone who wasn’t from Siena the Granny’s cake…it is similar but not the same. This is the must of our old cousine, the queen of the “Senesi” desserts! It is a quite long preparation but easy ingredients and fingers to lik!

    There are two versions of “Pinolata”. One it is open and the other is closed. I write the recipe of the one closed because I like it much 😉 :

    I hope you will enjoy trying both !



    Prepare the shortcrust pastry

    Put in a mixer 450 gr. of flour and the cold butter chopped in pieces. Mix for few seconds, the mixture will be grainy. Move the mixture on a working surface and make a mound with a well in the centre. Put inside 160 gr. of sugar, 2 eggs, the greated peel of one lemon
    and start working all the ingredients till they are uniform. Shape a cylindrical dough, cover with a plastic film. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.


    Prepare the custard

    In a small pan pour 750 gr. of milk and one lemon peel. Let it cooks at a low heat till it brushes against the boiling
    In a bowl break 3 eggs and 1 yolk, add 225 gr. of sugar and when the sugar will be well absorbed add 30 gr. of flour previously mixed with 35 gr. of starch. Mix well the powders.


    Cool the custard and roll the dough

    Take the peel off from the milk and when it is cooled add the egg mixture. Let it cook at a slow temperature and stir continuously with a whisk till the liquid gets thick. It takes about 10-15 minutes. When the cream is ready move it in a casserole dish quite short and broad. Cover with a plastic film in touch with the compound. Let it cool at a room temperature. Meanwhile take the shortcrust pastry from the fridge, dust a working table with flour and roll it out giving the dough a round shape about 2-3 mm thickness.


    Settle the cake

    Butter and duster a pie mold of about 26 cm diameter , roll the dough on a roller bin and unroll it on the pie mold, stick the dough to the side pushing with your fingers and take off the excess that you will use to form the disk for the cover.
    Pierce the bottom with a fork and pour the custard . Cover with the other disk of dough that you have prepared. Pierce the top and add 25 gr. of pine nuts.


    Bake and serve

    Pre heat the oven and bake the pie at 160 °C in a conventional oven for approx. 50 minutes. Then rise the temperature at 180 °C for 10 minutes more. If the top gets too brown cover it with aluminium film.
    Take out of the oven, let it cool and then dust it with icing sugar.

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