Folks have been asking me for my Panettone Bread Pudding recipe that I make, usually during the December holidays. Better late than never, here it is, adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe. This is a light, custard-y dessert featuring panettone, a sweet Italian bread studded with raisins, citron and other dried fruits. This bread pudding is very different from traditional heavy, dense bread puddings. (But I confess to liking those, too.)
I made this for a big gathering at my pal Jan’s on New Years Day for a fancy meal of pork and sauerkraut, a German menu that insures good luck for the rest of 2014. Growing up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, we always ate this on New Years, as I do every year. Jan had invited a dozen of us to celebrate together, mostly friends from her gourmet club, a friendly bunch of sophisticated cooks with very definite ideas about bread pudding. I grew a little anxious, hoping mine would pass muster. My heart sank when Jan piped up, “I don’t really like panettone!” Great, I thought…
Still, this was a big hit and I had to hide the last serving to smuggle home for its beauty shot. Pick up a panettone at Trader Joe’s next year. Their brands are consistently moist and tasty. Shop early because TJ’s sell out by mid-December.
TIP: I make this a day ahead, usually because I am on a tight kitchen schedule during the holidays. As it turns out, the flavors seem only to improve after a day of “rest”.
- 1 panettone, about 1.5 pounds
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 5 cups whole milk
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9X11 baking dish and set aside.
- Cut off and discard the dark brown crust on the panettone. Cut or tear panettone into 1-inch pieces. Place on a baking dish in a single layer. Toast in oven for 10 minutes, just until lightly browned.
- Keeping the oven at 350, place the toasted panettone pieces in the buttered baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and almond extract.
- Pour custard over the panettone pieces. Sprinkle almonds on top.
- Place the baking dish in a larger dish, such as a roasting pan. Fill the larger pan with enough hot tap water so that the baking dish sits in about an inch of water.
- Cover the roasting pan with foil and cut a few vents in it.
- Bake, covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes, until pudding is golden brown on top and a knife inserted cleans out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made a day ahead and stored, covered, in fridge.