Dan Lepard's ginger and apricot panforte


An Italian spiced fruit fudge that’s utterly easy to make and keeps well for months if wrapped tightly. It’s deliciously dense and sticky, and usually dredged with icing sugar before serving with coffee after dinner as a petit four.

Though it does contain flour you can replace it with gluten-free flour if you prefer.

Serves 8-10


- 200g JS whole almonds, unskinned
- 100g JS whole hazelnuts, unskinned
- One 500g bag JS ready-to-eat apricots
- One 130g tub JS lemon peel
- One 200g tub JS crystallized ginger
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tsp JS ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp JS ground ginger
- 1 tsp JS ground coriander
- 1 tsp JS ground nutmeg
- 300g caster sugar
- 100g JS honey
- 75ml Marsala or sherry
- Foil and butter for the tin
- Extra flour
- Rice paper and icing sugar to finish


1. Roast the almonds and hazelnuts on a tray in a preheated oven at 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4 for 10 minutes then leave to cool.

2. Put the nuts in a large mixing bowl, cut the apricots in half and add them too with the strips of lemon peel and ginger. Spoon in the flour and spices and toss everything together until well coated.

3. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with buttered foil, or sheets of rice paper.

4. Put the sugar, honey and Marsala in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then pour this into the flour mixture and immediately stir everything together evenly. Spoon the mixture into the tin then dust the top with extra flour and press it down firmly.

5. Bake at 170°C/150°C fan/335°F/gas 3 for about 40 minutes until bubbling at the edges and slightly puffed. Remove from the oven and leave until cold. At this point you can keep it in the tin, well-wrapped, until Christmas or simply remove it from the tin and cut into pieces.

6. The easiest way to remove the panforte from the tin and foil is to place it back in the oven for 5 minutes at 170°C/150°C fan/335°F/gas 3, as this softens the caramel slightly. Check that the panforte is loose around the edges in the tin then upturn onto a board, lift the tin off, then peel away the foil.

7. Press sheets of rice paper on the base to stop it sticking then flip it onto another board and dust heavily with icing sugar.

8. When it’s completely cold again cut in to slices to serve, or wrap in cellophane to store.

Written by Dan Lepard, exclusive to Sainsbury's