Gina DePalma shares her recipe for panforte, a delicious Italian pasty.
- Nonstick cooking spray, for pan
- 3 cups whole blanched almonds
- 1 3/4 cups whole hazelnuts, skinned or unskinned
- 2 cups diced candied orange peel
- 6 ounces dried apricots, diced
- 5 ounces dried figs, diced
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups honey
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Generously spray a 9-by-2-inch heavy-bottomed, nonstick round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with a parchment paper circle, spray parchment paper circle with cooking spray. Coat bottom and sides of pan with flour, tapping out excess.
Using a sharp knife, roughly chop almonds and hazelnuts and place in a large, wide bowl, along with orange peel, apricots, and figs; toss to combine.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. Add to bowl of nuts and fruit and toss until well combined.
Place sugar, honey, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook mixture until it reaches 217 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and quickly pour sugar mixture into nut mixture. Using a heatproof spatula, stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared cake pan, smoothing surface with a spatula.
Transfer cake pan to oven and bake until entire surface is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool completely. Wrap well with parchment paper, and then again with plastic wrap. Store in a cool, dry place up to 3 weeks.
To serve, dust the panforte with confectioners' sugar and cut into thin wedges with a sharp knife.