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Pan Forte


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  • 1 1/4 cups whole unblanched almonds - (6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole unblanched hazelnuts - (6 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra
  • for dusting
  • 1 1/4 pounds dried fruits, preferably organic any combination of
  • black currants, white or black raisins, black mission figs, white figs, sour
  • cherries, plums, prunes, pears, peaches, nectarines, or cranberries and apricots
  • and candied ginger
  • 2/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 candy thermometer
  • 1 nine-inch cake ring or flan ring see * Note
  • 1 sheet rice paper


Servings 12


Step 1

* Note: Or several 4-inch flan rings placed on parchment-lined baking sheet, generously coated with melted butter and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder

Place the ring or mold over the sheet of rice paper on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet in 2 separate piles, and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Shake the pans halfway through to ensure that the nuts toast evenly. Allow to cool a few minutes. Gather the hazelnuts into a kitchen towel and rub them together to remove the skins. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the nuts with the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, flour, and cocoa powder. Cut the fruit into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the nut mixture.

In a small saucepan, stir together the honey and sugar. Over high heat, bring to a boil without stirring. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush the sides of the pan to remove any undissolved sugar granules. Cook until the sugar reaches 224 to 240 degrees (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and pour into the fruit mixture. Stir to combine as well as possible. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.

Dip your hands in water and press the fruit mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is slightly puffed and the surface is matte. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan. Trim the rice paper around the edge of the mold. Store at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for several weeks.

This recipe yields 12 to 20 slices.

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