Wondering what to do with panettone…

I love Italy. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Italy, but for years I’ve told everyone how much I hate rosemary and panettone. In all fairness, I’m not sure I’d ever tried panettone, but I’m not a fan of raisins in baked goods and fruitcake is not something I will partake in. Isn’t panettone just Italian fruitcake? Shopping with my fifteen year old niece this Christmas she expressed an interest in wanting to buy gifts for my husband and I with her own money. A sweet gesture and although I didn’t want her to spend her money on us, I did understand that the act of giving can be as important to a teen as to anyone else. So let’s think, what could we purchase for Uncle Joe that wouln’t break the bank… as we were scouring the aisles at Stop and Shop in search of red currant jelly I rounded a corner to see an end cap full of Ferrara Panettone on sale for $5.99 – perfect.

Well the surprise has been on me. Toasted panettone with honey butter has been an extraordinarily delicious way to start the day. But then last night thinking it would be nice to serve desert after creating a meal from odds and ends found in my freezer, an idea came to mind. Why not a panettone bread pudding. I had about a third of a panettone left which turned out to make the perfect amount of bread pudding for four (in our case we get to enjoy it again tonight!)

Panettone Bread Pudding – serves 4

  • 1/3 of a 2lb Ferrara Panettone cut into 1 inch cubes – mine had been opened and in refrigerator about a week
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Bourbon Sauce – (2 Tbs butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbs Boubon/Whiskey, 2 Tbs heavy cream)
  • Vanilla ice cream – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter baking dish, I used a 2 1/2 quart round Corning Ware baking dish. Place panettone cubes in dish. Whisk together eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla and pour over panettone. Push cubes into egg mixture and let stand for 15-20 minutes. Bake for 30-45 minutes until knife inserted comes out clean. While bread pudding is cooling make Bourbon Sauce.

Melt butter in small saucepan. Add sugar, Bourbon and heavy cream and whisk to mix. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1-2 minutes. Scoop bread pudding into bowls, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional) and spoon Bourbon Sauce over the top.

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