17 December 2015

AUNTIE PASTA: Panettone Bread Pudding

CHIAVARI, Italy – I made a big mistake this week. I’ve been talking a little too much about panettone, and now I want some. I actually had the foolish idea that this year I was just not going to buy panettone. I was going to resist. But then the shops and bakeries started piling them up on the counters and . . .  well as Mae West used to say, “I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.” I gave in.
 Delicious Panettone
Over the course of the holidays I usually buy two or three panettone, some to eat, and at least one to use for this super simple, but truly delicious bread pudding. Most of the deliciousness comes directly from the rich and eggy panettone, and the pudding bakes into an extra silky custard with a buttery golden brown top.

To make it even more festive, I’ve added a recipe for an amaretto sauce to drizzle over the top.
 Panettone Bread Pudding

1 ½ pounds of panettone bread, trim crust and cut or tear into chunky pieces
8 large eggs
1 ½ cups of whipping (heavy) cream
2 ½ cups of whole milk
1 ¼ cups sugar

1. Lightly grease a 13″ x 9″ baking sheet. Arrange the cut panettone in the dish.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to combine.
3. Pour this custard mixture over the panettone pieces, using the back of a wooden spoon to press the pieces into the liquid. It is important that they are totally submerged. Allow the bread to soak for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the pudding puffs and it set in the center, about 45 minutes (depending on the size of the dish that you chose to use). Allow to cool slightly.
5. Spoon the bread pudding onto a plate and drizzle with warm amaretto sauce.

This recipe comes out best if you use a shallow pan.
Amaretto Sauce Starts Like This

1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently
2. In a small bowl mix the amaretto and cornstarch to combine and then whisk the into the cream mixture

NOTE: The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just pop it in the microwave for a couple of seconds, or warm over low heat before serving.

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