From Our Food and Drink Archives

Torta Sbrisolona

This simple dessert requires careful preparation. Use your hands to mix the dough, but don’t overwork it. The dough should have a crumbly texture.


1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened slightly, divided
1 cup (250 mL) blanched almonds
1½ cups (375 mL) corn flour
1¼ cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 egg yolks, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease a 10- or 12-inch (25 or 30 cm) springform pan with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of butter.
  2. Whirl almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground (not too fine).
  3. Place ½ cup (125 mL) of butter in a large bowl. Add ground almonds. Using your fingers and thumbs, mix until combined. Mix in corn flour, all-purpose flour and lemon zest until incorporated, being careful not to warm dough with your hands. (Dough should still be crumbly.) Add ¾ cup (185 mL) of sugar and vanilla. Add egg yolks. Mix and squeeze dough together by hand until incorporated but still crumbly.
  4. Tumble dough into prepared pan, distributing evenly over bottom without pressing. Distribute remaining butter in chunks overtop. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until deep golden, about 50 minutes. Remove to a rack. Let cool completely before unmoulding and slicing.
Makes 8 to 12 servings