I love learning about new recipes and sharing them with you. File this post under "learning new recipes and sharing them with you". Sbrisolona is a totally unfussy, crunchy, crumbly almond torte/cookie that comes from Northern Italy. (I can be excused from never hearing about it before because my people hail from the southern part of the country.) And when I say unfussy, I mean unfussy. Some bakers don't even bother to cut the torte but rather just break it and serve it up as sweet, almond studded shards.
Being unfussy it's one of those recipes that lends itself to interpretation. Some bakers play it straight up and simple, and some add a bit of pizazz by sandwiching in a sweet filling. For the most part sbrisolona are made with chopped almonds, that's the crunch part, and corn meal, that's the crumbly part. I used all almond flour instead of chopped almonds so this version has more of a snap than a crunch. But the traditional vanilla, lemon and almond favors shine through and it still retains it's traditional corn meal crumble.
However you make it, just make it. I know the Holidays are coming up and this recipe is going to compete with your many baking obligations. Fair enough, so please bookmark this page and return to it in the New Year because by then something delicious and unfussy will be exactly what you'll be needing.
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup unbleached AP flour
6 tablespoons corn meal
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9X9 inch, or 9 inch round, pan and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture is crumbly.
In a small bowl combine yolk, zest and extracts. Add the yolk mixture to the large bowl and stir just to combine. Transfer mixture into prepared pan and lightly pat it into an even layer.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the torte is golden. Let cool on a wire rack. Once cool either remove from pan with a spatula and break into pieces, or cut into squares. Makes 8 to 16 servings.
(For something fancier, make a double batch and layer with a filling of raspberry jam or Nutella.)