What To Do With Leftover Panettone
Without fail every Christmas season, I make panettone, the classic sweet yeast bread that is studded with dried fruit and that Italians love to give as gifts at Christmas time. And every year I receive imported panettone from friends and family. Some I stash in the freezer and use for toasting; some I hollow out and stuff with ice cream and some becomes a luscious bread pudding perfect for a winter’s Sunday breakfast.
Panettone and Dried Fig Bread Pudding
4 cups cut up 1-inch pieces panettone
3/4 cup sweet Marsala wine
10 dried Calamyrna figs, stemmed and cut into small pieces
4 cups milk
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
Whipped cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Butter a 9 1/4 by 13 1/2-inch oven-safe casserole dish.
Place the bread in a large bowl. Add the wine and toss until the bread is evenly moistened. Set aside
Put the figs into a small bowl and pour hot water over them; allow the figs to soak for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, orange and lemon zests.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until light and fluffy looking. Whisk in the milk mixture.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a hand-held mixer until soft peaks are formed. Sprinkle on the sugar and fold into the whites. Fold the white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the bread pieces and the figs.
Pour into the casserole dish. Place the casserole into a large pan like a roasting pan and pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches half way up the sides of the casserole dish.
Bake until a knife blade inserted in the center is just slightly wet. This may take between 1- 1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove the baking pan from the roasting pan and wipe the bottom with a towel.
Serve warm cut into squares garnished with whipped cream.