One last post for 2013. Here’s a dessert which has become kind of a tradition for our Christmas Eve dinner: panettone bread pudding. This Italian Christmas loaf makes a superb bread pudding since it’s already sweetened and is chock full of raisins and other fruit. It’s usually the last bit of holiday baking I do and the custard ratio makes this quick dessert a snap.
This idea comes from my mom who made one of these a few Christmases ago. Pretty sure she sent me the recipe she followed but I’ve since lost it. No matter though, knowing the ratio for a free-standing custard, 2 parts milk to 1 part eggs, makes the actual recipe irrelevant. I’ve found one large panettone is just the right size for a 9×11 baking dish but it requires just a little more custard than most recipes call for in order to keep the bread pudding soft and spongy, especially when hot out of the oven. Too little and you end up with more of a baked eggy bread.
While you can just bake it in the oven I strongly recommend using the water bath method. This way the outer edges don’t develop a crust and you have a uniform consistency throughout the pudding. A water bath also helps keep the top of the pudding moist and prevents the custard from curdling. I use a large roasting pan and fill it with water I’ve heated up on the stove. I’d also recommend breaking the bread up a day ahead and letting it dry out overnight. This way it will really soak up the custard.
A big ‘thank you’ to all my faithful readers and subscribers. I’m always very encouraged from your support and really looking forward to crafting new things in 2014. Happy New Year!
Panettone Bread Pudding
- 1 Panettone
- 10 oz eggs (6-7 large eggs, large eggs are usually between 1.5 and 2 oz depending on their size)
- 20 oz milk
- ¾ C sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Break up the panettone into 1 inch pieces and set aside to dry out.
Pre-heat the oven to 325°F. On the stove-top heat a pot of water to simmering.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk and sugar, whisk vigorously to dissolve sugar as much as possible.
Evenly distribute panettone cubes in a 9×11 baking dish. Pour custard mix over panettone and press cubes into the liquid to aid absorption. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Put bread pudding in the roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour enough of the simmering water into the roasting pan, about 1-2 inches. Bake for 45 minutes or until custard is set. Serve with crème anglaise or ice cream.