Christmas pudding is a thing. Or was a thing. Figgy pudding or steamed pudding…they are a little old-fashioned and weird. They were popular CENTURIES ago because of the (lack of) ingredients available. Now that we have just about every and any ingredient available at our fingertips (internet magic) this panettone bread pudding only qualifies as “Christmas Pudding” because it adheres the traditional requirements of dried fruits and nuts, bread and alcohol.
This one is anything but weird.
Bread pudding made with Italian panettone bread has those nostalgic flavors of candied orange, citrus, and raisins. Toasted almonds add texture, and lots of eggs and half and half make for the most custardy bread pudding!
It actually feels light for a bread pudding – light as in you do not feel like you are eating a rock. We are not talking calories this month. It’s just not happening.
One trick to ensure your bread pudding will come out perfectly irresistible is to allow the bread to soak in the custard mixture for about 10 minutes before baking it. This allows the bread to absorb ALL the liquid, guaranteeing every inch of pudding to be PERFECT!
And this brandy sauce is another situation making things even more right in the world.
Panettone bread pudding is the picture-perfect blend of old-world tradition and culinary evolution. And from my experience, you cannot go wrong when those two notions collide.
- 1 Italian panettone, about 1¼ pounds, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 eggs
- 8 egg yolks
- 4 cups half and half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet and toast them for about 12 minutes until lightly browned.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, half and half, milk, extracts and brandy.
Butter a large casserole dish. Place the bread cubes into the greased dish. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and top with sliced almonds.
Allow the bread to soak for 15 minutes.
Cover the baking dish with foil. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Allow the pudding to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with the brandy sauce.
To make the brandy sauce, combine the butter, sugar, brandy and extract in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add enough milk or cream until drizzling consistency is reached.