‘Panforte’ pies

The traditional Italian dessert is turned into a pretty hand-held nutty pie with chocolate and figs, plus an orange liqueur cream topping

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:30 mins
    plus chilling
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 294
  • fat 18g
  • saturates 7g
  • carbs 28g
  • sugars 16g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.2g


  • 140g mixed shelled and blanched nuts such as pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds and cashews
  • 375g pack ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 50g butter
  • 50g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp dark maple syrup
  • 50g good-quality chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • zest ½ orange
  • 50g soft dried figs, chopped to a paste in a food processor
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau or other Christmassy booze
  • zest ½ orange


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toast the nuts on a small baking tray for 5-8 mins until golden. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and stamp 12 circles with a 7.5cm plain round cutter. Use to line the wells of a 12-hole bun tin. Chill until step 3. (You will only use around half of the pastry.)

  2. Turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and chocolate together in a small pan, then beat in the egg, orange zest, figs and cinnamon. Stir in the toasted nuts.

  3. Spoon the nutty mixture into the pastry cases and bake for 18-20 mins until the pastry is pale golden. Cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove to a rack until just warm. Whip the cream with the sugar and booze, then dust the pies with a little icing sugar and finish with a dollop of cream and a scattering of orange zest just before eating. Good with strong coffee or mint tea.

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