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Italian Honey Cake

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1/2 pound (about two cups) whole filberts or blanched almonds
1/2 pound each candied orange and lemon peal, finely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups total)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup each honey, sugar and powdered sugar

Spread nuts on an ungreased rimmed baking pan and bake in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden, shake pan once or twice; cool. If using filberts, rub toasted nuts briskly between palms to remove loose skins.

Grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch cake pan with removable bottom. Line pan bottom with brown paper or cooking parchment; set aside.

Place the toasted nuts and the candied orange and lemon peel in a large bowl. Combine the flour with cinnamon and allspice; sprinkle over nut mixture and stir until well blended; set aside.

In a sauce pan, combine honey and sugar. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat, stirring often, until mixture boils and reaches 265° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pour over nut-fruit mixture; stir until mixed

Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and press down slightly to form an even layer. Bake in a 350° oven for 40 minutes or until edges look dry. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.

Generously sift powdered sugar onto the center of a sheet of waxed paper. Run a sharp knife around pan side, then invert cake onto sugar-dusted paper. Carefully remove pan bottom and brown paper, cutting paper away if necessary. Generously sift more powdered sugar over bottom, then invert cake onto plate.

Wrap cake tightly and store in a cool, dry place as long as three weeks. To serve, cut in thin wedges. Makes one 2 1/2 pound cake.

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