I know January is almost over, but the likelihood is, if you’re Italian or know an Italian, you have a panettone lying around just calling to be eaten! No doubt you’re also probably sick of eating panettone after the Christmas season so that poor panettone is just going to sit there collecting dust… but wait…what is this… a new way to jazz up your panettone?! I wanted to combine the British and Italian in me and create a SUPER DESSERT and what better way than a bread & butter pudding but using the beloved panettone! This is one that can be enjoyed all year round and you get the added bonus recipe of a vanilla custard recipe which you can use with any dessert you want!
I must admit when I first tested this recipe, it was also the first time I was making custard from scratch and also using Italian cream, which differs to the ones available in the UK. I didn’t have the choice of single or double – it’s just “Panna” which I was concerned about. I would say that the end consistency is the same as using single cream back at home, and I chose not to add flour/cornstarch to thicken it as I wanted to see what would happen. Ultimately, as it goes into the pudding and is then cooked, you don’t need to thicken it up. When I made it back in London, I used double cream and the end consistency was perfect both for a stand-alone custard and to be used in this pudding (albeit slightly heavier).
What is super important is that you slice the panettone in advance and leave it out so it gets a little stale – just like you would use stale bread in a traditional bread pudding you want to do the same here and then the custard will get soaked up and be super comforting!
Serves: 10-12 people
Prep time: 30 minutes + overnight prep for Panettone Cook time: 1 hour (custard + pudding) + 10 minutes rest Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes + overnight prep
Ingredients 1kg Panettone 50g Spreadable butter 3 Tsp Mixed Ground spice 2-4 Tbsp Demerara sugar
Vanilla custard 500ml Whole Milk 500ml Double Cream 1 Vanilla Pod or 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract 8 Free-Range Egg Yolks 5 Tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
The night before: Slice up the Panettone into standard slices and lay them out so they dry out. This makes it easier to butter! You can do this a few hours before but overnight is best!
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and cream on a medium heat, carefully cut the vanilla pod length ways, scrap out the seeds from both sides and add to the saucepan. Add the whole pod for extra flavour, alternatively add the vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer for around 5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well-combined and pale in colour.
Once the milk has simmered, turn off the heat and add 2 ladles to the egg/sugar to shock them, and immediately whisk to combine – this will avoid curdling.
Once combined, pour back into the saucepan, put the heat back on low, and whisk in figures of 8 until it all starts to thicken – to test the custard, dip the ladle in and if, when you run your finger down the back, the custard doesn’t run, you’re good to go! This should take around 5-8 minutes then remove from the heat.
Once this is ready you can put together the rest of the pudding!
Preheat the oven to 200℃/180℃ Fan. Grease a deep ovenproof dish with butter and ladle in some of the custard so it just coats the surface.
Generously butter both sides of the Panettone slices and form the first layer in the dish, you want it to be pretty tightly packed, so cut up slices so they slot in nicely.
Dust over some mixed ground spice and ladle custard so all the Panettone is submerged. Leave it to soak for a couple minutes before adding the next layer. Repeat until all the Panettone and custard is finished – usually you will get 2-3 layers depending on your dish size.
Lightly sprinkle the top with the Demerara sugar and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is nice and golden.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.