Panforte Di Siena

Panforte, traditional italian dessert from Siena – Lucarelli Public Domain

2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
6 oz. white flour
4 peppercorns
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 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 cinammon and nutmeg and mix together. Set aside. Cook the sugar with 2 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 cool in its mold. Remove from mold and panforte is ready to serve. It may be kept for 2-3 weeks.

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

Regional recipe from Tuscany