Sbrisolona - Sweet Almond Pie from Mantova (Italy) - Global Storybook

Sbrisolona – Sweet Almond Pie from Mantova

Sara Fracassetti

Sara Fracassetti

Sara Fracassetti is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Italy).

Ciao! I'm Sara and I am from a small village near Bergamo in Italy. I have worked in the hospitality sector in several countries, like Greece, Spain, and Australia. I am now based in Verona (Italy).

I started blogging to help and support my fellow travelers, plus I love telling about my adventures and the places I visited. Hope you enjoy reading about them too!
Sara Fracassetti

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Originally from a nearby town called Mantova, Sbrisolona is a must desert served on every dinner table in Verona.  The original recipe is really poor, as are the origins of this cake.  So what’s behind its interesting name?  Sbrisolona comes from a northern Italian dialect, from a word which means ‘crumb’.  Hence its literal translation should give you an ideal picture of what the texture of this cake is going to be like.  Yep, it will be crunchy and crumbly.

The Ingredients: (for up to 4-6 servings)

  • 100 gr white flour
  • 100 gr corn flour
  • 100 gr unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 100 gr white sugar
  • 100 gr almond
  • 1 egg

How to cook Sbrisolona – step-by-step:

Sbrisolona - Sweet Almond Pie from Mantova (Italy) recipe - Global Storybook1. Place aside a handful of almonds, then put the rest of them into a blender to crush.

2. Mix both flours in a deep bowl, then add the crushed almonds and most of the sugar.  Leave a pinch of sugar on the side to decorate the topping later.

3. Add the butter to the bowl and start making the dough.  This is a delicate and fundamental step and you need to pay close attention to it!  This action is called frollare since “frolla” is the type of dough used in the cake’s preparation.  Frollare is no ordinary dough kneading: use your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture, carefully unbinding each lump.  It is, in fact, easier done than said!  However, be patient while performing this action.  Since doing this the wrong way could compromise the outcome of your baking.

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4. Once you’re done, throw one egg in and start creating a ball with your dough.  There’s no need to let it rest since we don’t need the dough to rise in this recipe.  Sbrisolona has a sort of a biscuit consistency.  When finished – spread the dough with your fingers onto a well-greased tray.

5. Once your cake looks pretty much like a giant cookie – about 1 finger thick, place the almonds that you had put on a side (don’t tell me you ate them!) to decorate the topping.  Finally, sprinkle a bit of sugar on the top.

6. In a preheated oven, bake at 180°C for about 12 minutes, or until the cake turns into golden brown color.

How to serve Sbrisolona:

The best way to enjoy Sbrisolona is to dip it in a liquid, maybe into a cup of tea or coffee.  The cake is quite hard so it is not easy to slice it.  It is best to break it into small rough pieces.  Or, do it the traditional way, just as we locals do in Italy.

In Verona, we eat Sbrisolona after dinner.  It is usually the last course brought out on the table, together with coffee and other digestives.  One of them fits especially well with Sbrisolona – it is our very own, Grappa.  I personally am not fond of Grappa as it is really strong with a very high alcohol percentage.  But here is a secret.

Pour some Grappa onto your Sbrisolona and watch the magic happen.  The cake becomes lighter and easier to bite.  It is much tastier and goes beautifully with your espresso after a big Italian dinner!  I am pretty sure – once you tried it, you will want to eat Sbrisolona every day!

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