Tartra’ Piemontese

Piedmontese Egg and Cheese Custard


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

A rich and delicious, smooth eggy custard - this is the sort of dish that is best served with lots of crunchy grissini, Piedmont’s crisp breadsticks that are found in all the local bakeries. You could add chopped prosciutto or crumbled salame to this dish for an extra savoury note.


  • 15 g/½ oz/1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500 ml/17 fl oz/ cups full-fat/whole milk
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup double/heavy cream
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp mixed chopped fresh sage leaves and rosemary
  • a large pinch of grated nutmeg
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease and flour an ovenproof dish. Heat the butter gently in a frying pan over a low-medium heat, add the onion and fry until golden brown.
  2. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl with the milk, cream, Parmesan cheese, chopped herbs, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Add the cooked onion and combine.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish, then place the dish in a deep roasting pan. Put the pan in the oven and carefully pour just-boiled water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ovenproof dish.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custard is set in the middle and crisp and golden on top.