PANETTONE BREAD PUDDING

PANETTONE BREAD PUDDING (for eight)

½ cup golden raisins

¼ cup brandy, heated

½ stick (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 pound panettone, sliced 1 inch thick

¾ cup sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2-1/2 cups half and half

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

lightly whipped heavy cream, to accompany

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1.   Soak the raisins in hot brandy 15 minutes, then discard the brandy. 

2.   Meanwhile, butter the panettone on both sides and cook in batches in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until golden on both sides.

3.   Whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Tear panettone into bite sized pieces and spread evenly in a buttered, 13 by 9 inch baking dish.  Scatter raisins over top, then pour in egg mixture.  Let stand 30 minutes.

4.   Preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle.

5.   Bake until pudding is deep golden and just set, 35 to 40 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

NOTE:  Bread pudding can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.  Reheat before serving.

from Gourmet Italian Kitchen (magazine)

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