Make our perfect panforte this Christmas


Panforte is an Italian dessert made with fruit and nuts which is traditionally served at Christmas or given as gifts. Our recipe uses fortified wine or liqueur, but we've also made a batch with Pimms, and it was excellent!

Panforte is usually made in a round tin, but we made ours in a log shape, which is easily sliced into delicious slivers. It’s perfect as a sweet treat or a quick energy boost.

250g mixed nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

150g mixed dried fruit

140g dried figs, finely chopped

50g dried sour cherries, halved

125g orange blossom honey

150g soft brown sugar

50g plain flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp fortified wine or liqueur (or Pimms!)

50-100g icing sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 150/130 fan/gas mark 2 and set out a large baking sheet.

Cut two sheets of baking paper the same size as the baking tin.

Mix the nuts and fruit together in a mixing bowl.

Mix the flour and dried spices together, then stir into the nut and fruit mixture.

Heat the honey, sugar, and alcohol together in a small saucepan, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is starting to bubble. Allow it to bubble softly for 4 minutes.

Carefully pour it into the fruit and nut mixture and stir until it is completely combined.

Pour half of the mixture evenly along the long side of the first sheet of baking paper. Smooth the mixture so that it is roughly the same height and width the whole way along the sheet.

Tuck the paper over the mixture and gently roll it into a long sausage shape. It will be quite loose inside the paper to begin with so you might need to unwrap and roll it a few times until you have a firm sausage-shaped filling. When the filling is tightly packed and holds its shape, twist the ends of the paper tightly to hold the filling in place.

Repeat with the remaining filling.

Place the two paper-wrapped rolls on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and roll the panforte in icing sugar until the roll is completely covered.

Wrap the panforte in fresh baking paper and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks