One of our new recipes this year was a special bread pudding, as created by Ina Garten. (Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with her recipes but Kiley actually picked this one out.) Ina makes her pudding with panettone, the Italian sweet bread that is often eaten (and gifted) at Christmas. It’s kind of the Italian equivalent of the American fruit cake that everyone gets at holidays and then doesn’t know what to do with it…
I had never been a big fan of it, but my parents have been paying visits to the Italian markets in Brooklyn and got ahold of a some delicious chocolate panettone so we figured we’d try out this new recipe for Christmas.
So here you go, panettone recipients. Here is what you can do to spice up this sweet bread.
- 1 Italian panettone, about 1.2 pounds
- Unsalted butter, for greasing the dish
- 3 extra-large whole eggs
- 8 extra-large egg yolks
- 5 cups half-and-half
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Trim the dark brown outer crust from the panettone (optional). (I just cut off the top.) Cut the rest of the loaf in 1-inch cubes and place on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast the panettone for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
(Our panettone was exceptionally moist – and chocolatey – so we cooked it closer to 15 minutes.)
Grease a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish with the butter. Place the panettone cubes in the baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, vanilla and almond extracts and sugar.
Pour this custard mixture over the panettone. (Press the bread down with your hands so that it gets completely immersed in the liquid.)
Set aside for 10 minutes so the bread soaks up the custard.
Scatter the sliced almonds over the top of the pudding.
Place the baking dish into a larger pan and add very hot tap water to the larger pan until it’s halfway up the side of the baking dish.
Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn’t touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes, until the custard is set and the top of the pudding is light golden brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(We made this the day before and then reheated the pudding in the water bath on Christmas day.)