Torta Sbrisolona

A classic, delicious dry almond crumble made with white and yellow corn flours, sugar, egg, lard or butter and almonds. It is the specialty of Mantua in the Lombardy region of Italy. In Italian, sbrisolona means ‘to crumble’ or ‘to fall into pieces.’ This recipe was given to me by my friend Chef Alberto Ravazzini.  On our last tour to the Emelia Romagna, he made a spectacular last meal for our group. This was one of the desserts.


         1 cup Italian 00 flour

         1 cup cornmeal

         1 cup sugar

         Zest of 1 lemon

         Pinch of salt

         ¾ cup almonds, coarsely ground 

         1 cup chilled butter (2 sticks) cut into small cubes or ½ good quality lard half butter

         1 egg, room temperature

         15 to 20 almonds with skin for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

Butter and flour a 12-inch tart pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar. lemon zest, salt and ground. Use your fingertips to work the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a course crumbly mixture. Add the egg, use your hands mixing until the crumbs crumble together.  

Transfer the dough evenly to the tart pan keeping it rough not smooth. 

Decorate with almonds.

Bake in a 350- degrees preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is nicely brown. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool completely. Serve broken at the table. Perfect for dunking in red wine, coffee or serve after any digestivo after your meal. 

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