This is a typical cake from the north of Italy (Lombardia and Veneto). As my husband comes from Veneto, its taste reminds him of his childhood, a Proustian syndrome he seems to enjoy every time I make it.
Sbrisolona is a folk word that comes from the verb ‘sbriciolare’(to crumble). Of course the word is highly evocative.
The origins are rustic. Labourers used to make it with the ingredients they had at hand: lard, corn flour and hazelnuts, instead of the butter, white flour and almonds used in today’s version. Here is my ‘modern’ recipe.
You need: 150 g of chopped blanched almonds, 200 g of sugar, 200 g of butter, one egg and two yolks, 400 g of flour, a pinch of salt, 30 g of spirits (optional), one tsp of baking powder and half a glass of milk.
Mix 180 g of soft butter, cut into pieces, with 120 g of chopped almonds, sugar and flour. Add the egg and the yolks, the baking powder and the milk. Using a blender or your hands rub in the mixture. Line a round tin with baking paper, pour the mixture into it, sprinkle flakes of butter (20 g), some chopped almonds (30 g), and one tbsp of sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 150° C.
It may bring back childhood memories....