Panforte Di Siena

Panforte, traditional italian dessert from Siena – Lucarelli Public Domain

Ingredients

2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
6 oz. white flour
Four peppercorns
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. coriander seeds
One pinch of nutmeg
1/2 lb. candied melon rind
wafer to line mold
1 oz. candied orange rind
4 oz. walnut kernels
1/2 lb. almonds, roasted, shelled, and skinned
8 oz. sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 oz. honey

How to make the PANFORTE DI SIENA:

Mix 1 tsp. of cinnamon with 1 oz. of flour (a mixture known as polverino). Set aside. Pound the peppercorns, cloves, and coriander seeds, and mix the resulting powder with the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg (this mixture is locally known as droghe).

Dice the candied fruit and mince the walnuts. Mix both with the whole almonds. Sift in 5 oz. flour with the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together. Set aside. Cook the sugar with two tbs. water in an unlined copper pan until browned and caramelized. Knead the previously set aside mixture into the cooked sugar until you get a smooth mixture.

Butter and dust with flour a 10-in. round cake mold. Cover the bottom with thin flat wafers and pour in the mixture (it will probably be about 3/4-in. thick), sprinkling generously with polverino. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 min. Let set and extraordinary in its mold. Remove from mold and panforte is ready to serve. It may be kept for 2-3 weeks.

Note:
2 tbs. of water may be substituted with the juice of 1/2 lemon; its acidity will prevent the sugar from clumping.

Regional recipe from Tuscany

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Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.