La Tonda is the typical hazelnut tart of the Langa hills in Piedmont.
It’s made with a recipe that produces delicate, well-balanced flavour by bringing out all the goodness of the hazelnuts.
Traditionally dark ochre in colour, it has a dry, crumbly texture.
Every pastry chef and housewife in the Langa hills boasts a hazelnut tart recipe of their own: with or without flour, cocoa powder, milk or alcohol.
Up in the Langa hills, the hazelnut tart is a ‘by-product’ of the hazelnut groves that thrive on the higher ground.
It is rightly known as ‘the queen of the Langa’ and there isn’t a local fair, or village fete or festival at which this traditional delicacy isn’t eaten.
AREA OF PRODUCTION
The area of production is the Langa hills and the Monferrato districts of Piedmont. The hazelnut tart is a traditional agrifood product (PAT).
Eggs, hazelnut flour, caster sugar, butter, type 0 flour, cane sugar, ground hazelnuts, bitter cocoa, 95° alcohol.
The eggs of the Società Agricola F.lli Rosso farm in Sommariva Perno, Piedmont, Italy.
Universally acknowledged as the best in the world, they are much appreciated for their excellent aroma, delicate flavour and low fat content.
They are supplied by the Azienda Agricola Lurgo Flavio farm in Corneliano d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy.
The butter of the Fattorie Fiandino farms in Villafalletto, Piedmont, Italy.
Made exclusively with the cream – left to rest for 72 hours – from the milk of free-range Bruna Alpina cattle.
The flour is strictly organic and is acquired from two of the finest local mills:
Mulino Marino Felice in Cossano Belbo, Piedmont, Italy.
A mill producing natural stone-ground organic flour, conferred with a Piedmont Regional Authority certificate for ‘Artisanal Excellency’;
Mulino Sobrino in La Morra, Piedmont, Italy.
A mill producing flours from the finest Langa soft grain varieties, involved in a research project designed to revive and reuse heirloom native soft grain varieties.
Ethically selected high-quality sugar acquired from Soc. coop. sociale Libero Mondo, a social cooperative in Bra, Piedmont, Italy.
Supplied by the Italian firm Master Martini.
La Tonda – hazelnut tart is produced by pastry chef Gianfranco Tibaldi in his ‘Laboratorio di pasticceria artigianale Tibo’ workshop at Strada dei Magliani 47 Frazione Scaparoni, Alba, Piedmont, Italy.
The workshop produces traditional Piedmontese confectionery with artistic flair, often revisiting it with imaginative innovativeness.
Gianfranco Tibaldi refuses to compromise over the quality of his ingredients and produces everything himself, entirely by hand and with huge passion.
La Tonda – hazelnut tart takes a long time to make.
The ingredients have to be prepared beforehand.
First it is necessary to make the hazelnut flour and the ground hazelnuts by roasting and grinding the Piedmontese hazelnuts.
The cocoa powder is then blended with organic type 0 flour and the hazelnut flour with the ground hazelnuts.
The egg yolks are separated from the whites.
The necessary baking trays are then greased.
The first step in making the tart is to whip the butter with the sugar until creamy.
Then the hazelnut flour and the ground hazelnuts are added and also the egg yolks are beaten in, with a dash of alcohol to make the tart easier to keep.
The egg whites are whisked separately to a stiff peak, then delicately folded into the mixture using a spatula.
When the mixture is well amalgamated and smooth, the flour and cocoa blend is incorporated to complete the mixture.
Using a pastry bag, the mixture is piped into pastry cases and baked in the oven for 20-25 minutes at about 170°C.
The tart is then allowed to cool, removed from the cases and left to cool overnight.
The next day it is packaged, ready for tasting.
PERIOD OF PRODUCTION
La Tonda – hazelnut tart may be bought and consumed all year round.
La Tonda – thazelnut tart, which is free from preservatives, has an average life of 60 days from its date of production (check the ‘best before’ date on the box).
True to Langa tradition, we suggest you enjoy the tart at the end of a meal served with warm zabaglione flavoured with moscato, a nice glass of DOCG moscato or DOCG passito di moscato.
As a valid and moreish alternative, Gianfranco Tibaldi suggests you accompany the tart with 70% dark chocolate.
Background music: ‘All of me’ by Billie Holiday.