This panettone bread and butter pudding, I make every year for our Christmas party/open house. It’s become a tradition and a firm favourite amongst family and friends. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread that’s traditionally enjoyed at Christmas not just in Italy but also in many South American countries as well as some other European countries.
Now if you love baking and/or trying out new recipes, I urge you to try your hand at making your own panettone, like pastry, it’s one of those recipes that comes with a bad rep but really is a fairly easy one to master, albeit a little time consuming. One of these days, I’ll share the recipe I’ve been using since the 90s, courtesy of an Italian friend’s mum.
You’ve heard me say this before, nothing beats homemade, but that is really is up to you, there are some really good shop bought panettone about at Christmas, the ones made in Italy are usually the best, of course, if you have access to a bakery that makes them, even better!
I’ve been making panettone for many years now and it’s an exercise I thoroughly enjoy, both in its execution and of course the tasting. One of my favourite winter time indulgences is plenty of fresh homemade panettone, slathered in butter with a good cup of coffee on a cold, wet and windy day. Cold, wet and windy is de rigueur Christmas weather in the UK, so I get plenty of opportunities for that! I always make 2 panettones, one for eating and one for this recipe.
Ok, so you’ve decided to buy the panettone, not a problem, but what about the custard? If you’ve never tried making custard before, now would be a good time! It’s super easy, and fairly quick too. All you need: egg yolks, cream, milk, vanila, cornflour and some heating and stirring – that’s all! Click here for my custard recipe.
What defines our panettone bread and butter pudding is the use of leftover Christmas pudding, broken up and scattered between the panettone layers. If you don’t have any, just use raisins and/or sultanas like in a normal bread and butter pudding, or omit the extra fruit altogether as the panettone is full of fruit already. You’ll find my Christmas pudding recipe here.
We like our panettone pudding to be extremely moist but crunchy on top. To that end, we use extra custard, especially as the pannetone soaks it up more than regular bread. Finish it all off with a layer of sugar, caramelised with a kitchen blowtorch or place it under a hot grill for about 2-3 minutes.
I’ve had this pudding the next day, heated up and to me it still tasted divine but then, I love bread and butter pudding!
- 500g panettone
- about 250g Christmas pudding, if using shop bought, 2 mini ones will do
- 1 litre custard
- 50g butter, or more if you LOVE it
- 6 tbsp caster sugar (white or golden)
- Pannetone aroma (optional but transforms the dish!)
- You will need a 12 x 8/30cm x 20cm baking dish or something fairly similar to it size wise.
- Warm the custard up, if not freshly made, on low heat. Add 5 drops of the panettone aroma to it and mix it up.
- Slice the panettone up thinly and spread each slice with butter.
- Arrange the panettone slices in layers, slightly overlapping, butter side up.
- Scatter the crumbled Christmas pudding all over.
- Spread 2-3 ladles of the warm custard all over this first layer. Depending on the size of your dish and panettone, you'll have about 2-3 layers.
- Make another layer up, butter side up, leaving this bare, any topping now would burn.
- Ladel about three quarters of the custard onto the panettone, lightly pressing down to encourage absorption.
- Leave the whole thing for about half an hour, up to three hours if making ahead. Panettone soaks up a lot of custard, so be over generous!
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C Fan.
- Top the panettone mix with the rest of the custard and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. It will look set but will still be wobbly and soft on the inside.
- Sprinkle the pudding generously with the sugar and place under a hot grill to to glaze. Don't worry if bits of the panettone get slightly burnt - it adds to the taste!
- As mentioned, I use a blowtorch for this - it's more fun!
- You shouldn't need any extra custard, as the pudding will be very moist.