- Yield: 20 servings
Originally from Sienna, Italy, and, although not specifically a festive treat, panforte certainly makes an ideal Christmas present.
- -- Sunflower oil, for greasing
- 1cup blanched almonds
- 1cup blanched hazelnuts
- 3/4cup unsalted shelled pistachios
- 2cups mixed dried fruits, including apricots, candied peel, raisins, figs and medjool dates, roughly chopped
- 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4cup all-purpose flour
- 1-- rounded tablespoon cocoa
- 1pinch salt
- 1/2cup honey
- 1cup superfine sugar
- -- Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
- Grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans and line the bottom of each with a disk of rice paper.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spread the almonds and hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for about 5 to 7minutes, until lightly golden. Cool slightly, then roughly chop with the pistachios and place in a large bowl. Add the chopped dried fruit and mix well.
- In another small bowl, mix together the spices, flour, cocoa and salt. Add to the dried fruit and nuts and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
- Combine the honey and sugar in a medium-sized pan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat, pour into the fruit and nut mixture, and mix well. Spoon into the prepared pans and spread level.
- Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until firm. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. Run a palette knife around the edge of the pan and carefully ease out the panforte. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.
- Stored in an airtight container, panforte will keep for weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Annie Rigg’s Gifts from the Kitchen (Kyle Books, 2011).