It was time to look at Panforte again. I made two lots just before Christmas. Good to give as presents or keep in your pantry for those JUST IN CASE TIMES – it keeps for a long time.
I never follow recipes closely, so every time I make Panforte it will taste different.
If I want a softer Panforte, I add more honey and butter and less amounts of sugar.
Likewise adding more sugar and less honey and butter makes it firmer.
I also play around with the range of nuts I use and I always add great amounts of spices than any Panforte recipe that you are likely to find and always generous quantities of pepper. Sometimes I have added pink pepper – no true Italian is likely to corrupt Panforte with this spice.
For some reason I do not add cocoa or chocolate but many do like this version of dark (scuro) Panforte. I always add some sort of citrus peel ( I added cumquat to one of my latest batches) and sometimes I add figs. I would never add ginger, pineapple or cranberries or any other dried fruit for that matter – that would be so far removed from the traditional.
As for nuts, I added macadamias to one of the batches I made – my first time. I usually add a mixture of almonds, pistachio and hazelnuts.
Basically…. I use:
375g of nuts altogether
170g of citrus peel or citrus peel and figs
100g plain flour
420 g of sweetness altogether (honey and sugar). You could use 210g of each…this is usually what is done, but If I want a soft Panforte I use 200g sugar and 220g of honey. …harder still 215g sugar and 205 of honey.
45g of butter….less if I want it harder
spices and pepper to taste
grated orange or orange and lemon peel
Oven is 150C. Tins are lined with baking paper. Depending on the size of your tins, this quantity resulted in 2 large ones or 5-6 little ones – I used my Le Cruset mini casseroles. Expect to cook the larger ones 40-50 minutes…. smaller ones 35-40 minutes.
Mix all dry ingredients together.
Heat honey and sugar till sugar is melted, add butter.
Work quickly and add wet to dry ingredients.
Press into tins.
You will find a recipe for Panforte (it is Carol Field’s recipe) in an earlier post:
Panettone and Panforte for an Italian Christmas
I have always played around with the ingredients and spices – Carol Field’s recipe was the “mother” recipe that launched the various versions of Panforte I have made over many years. Thank you Carol Field.