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Panforte (Spicy Italian Fruitcake)


  • 2½ cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup red glace cherries
  • ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup moist dried fruit, such as figs or raisins
  • 2 good splashes of sherry or rum
  • 6 tablespoons runny honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • icing sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  • Line the bottom and sides of a 8″ round baking pan with rice paper or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl place nuts, glace fruit and flour and mix well.
  • In a food processor blitz the dried fruit, then transfer to a saucepan.
  • Add 1 splash of booze, honey, sugar and spices.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Pour fruit mixture over nut mixture and add the last splash of booze.
  • Spoon into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and press top down with a layer of parchment paper.
  • Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Let cool in baking pan.
  • Dust with icing sugar and thinly slice.


Note: You can use all sorts of substitutes:

  • nuts – pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts
  • glace fruit – red cherries, mixed fruit or peel
  • dried fruit – figs, raisins, dates, cranberries, or apricots