Sbriciolona - Italian Spiced Orange Shortbread

, from Issue #27. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Sbriciolona - Italian Spiced Orange Shortbread

‘Sbriciolona’ is Italian for ‘crumble’. This is my version of the delicious, shortbread-style dessert. After family and friends have lingered over a long Christmas Day feast, this is the perfect finale. Dip pieces in the yoghurt cream and serve with fresh berries and muscatels.


1 1⁄2 cups whole, skin-on almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
2 1⁄4 cups plain flour
3⁄4 cup rice flour
pinch of sea salt
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
3⁄4 cup castor sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
200 grams butter, cubed
finely grated zest of 1⁄2 an orange
3 egg yolks
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
icing sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Grease and line the base of a 30 cm spring form cake tin or loose- based tart tin.

Put both flours, salt, baking powder and both sugars in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and zest and pulse to coarse crumbs. Combine the egg yolks and vanilla and pulse until the mixture is damp but not forming large clumps. Don’t be tempted to add any extra liquid, keep pulsing and the mixture will come together. Tip into a large bowl and stir in the almonds. Using your fingertips, press the mixture firmly into the tin, leaving the surface bumpy and uneven.

Combine the sugar and spices and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a good golden colour and firm to the touch. Cover the top loosely with a piece of tin foil if it is browning too fast.

Cool completely before removing from the tin.

To serve: Cut into irregular pieces and stack on a serving platter. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Sbriciolona will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Menu: Serve with the following:
Baked Artichoke and Parmesan Spread
Roast, Stuffed Turkey Breast
Green Bean and Hazelnut Salad
Barbecued Crayfish and Clams with Flavoured Butters
Lime and Lemon Yoghurt Creams