"Panettone is festive whether served simple or dressed for dessert."

Panettone is festive whether served simple or dressed for dessert.

As we head full swing into December I can’t help but think about desserts and all things sweet.   And speaking of sweets, right about now you will see stacks of panettone in your favorite grocery store (or online!)  These are the big, festive boxes loaded with fruit studded bread – perfect for desserts (bread pudding) a holiday version of french toast or mini panettone and pear sandwiches.

Cheers to the season of friends, fun and food.  Enjoy!

Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

Sauce:

  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup amaretto liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Bread pudding:

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar

To make the sauce:  bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.  In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm.  (The amaretto sauce can be made 3 days ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Warm before serving.)

To make the bread pudding:  lightly butter a  13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.  Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk and sugar to blend.  Pour the custard over the bread cubes and press the bread cubes gently to submerge.  Let stand for 30 minutes,  occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture.  (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about  45 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce and serve.

Recipe courtesy of the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis

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