The Florentine, chewy and full of candied fruit and nuts, was invented by Queen Anne de Bretagne’s pastry chef who hailed from Florence in the 17th century, and it’s been a beloved biscuit ever since. A Christmas classic, it’s no surprise then that Fortnum and Mason have its own recipe – package them up, and they make a thoughtful gift for loved ones.
Recipe: Florentine Biscuits
- ½ quantity of sweet pastry
- 50ml double cream
- 40g honey
- 20g liquid glucose
- 110g caster sugar
- 85g mixed dried fruit such as sultanas, dried apricots and quartered glace cherries
- 120g flaked almonds
- 20g pistachio nuts, chopped
- You will need a shallow baking tin approximately 30cm x 24cm. Roll out the pastry to 4mm-thick rectangle and use to line the tin. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and chill for 30 minutes
- Bake in an oven heated at 170C/Gas Mark 4 for about 10 minutes, until very lightly coloured.
- Meanwhile, put the cream, honey, butter, liquid glucose and caster sugar into a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the dried fruit and nuts.
- Pour the mixture carefully over the pastry base and spread it level.
- Return to the oven at 160C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
- Remove from the oven and cut when the topping has firmed up but is still warm.
Featured image: Fortnum & Mason