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Panforte Ei Siena - Italian fruitcake
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Recipe Information
Sunset's Italian Cookbook

Serves/Makes:1 8-inch cake

  • 2-1/2 tbsp (35 ml) butter
  • 2 cups (475 ml) (3/4 lb (.3 kg).) whole unblanched almonds, or 1 cup (225 ml) each almonds and filberts
  • 1 cup (225 ml) candied orange peel, coursely chopped
  • 1 cup (225 ml) candied lemon peel, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) flour
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) honey
  • powdered sugar
  • Heavily butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch or 9 inch cake pan with a removable bottom.
  • Line bottom with brown paper, the butter the paper and dust it with flour.
  • In a bowl, mix nuts, candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, grated lemon peel, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and flour until the flour coats each particle.
  • In a deep pan, over high heat, combine sugar, honey, and 2 tbsp (30 ml) of butter. Stir frequently.
  • Cook quickly to 265 degrees (125 C.) (using a candy thermometer).
  • Pour hot syrup into almond mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour into the cake pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake at 300 degrees (150 C.) for 45 minutes, then cool thoroughly. Panforte should be firm to the touch.
  • Loosen the sides with a knife, then invert onto a sheet of wax paper heavily dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Remove the pan bottom and paper, and heavily dust the top with powdered sugar.
  • Serve in small wedges with expresso, tea, brandy, or dessert wine.
  • May be kept indefinitely if wrapped airtight.
After this request came in, we looked through about a dozen Italian cookbooks before running into this. It may not be the same as was on NPR, which inspired the request, but it should be good! Sunset calls this a cross between a fruitcake and a candy.

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