I realize that since I've been trying to get back into the blog posting, I haven't really shown just what we've been up to with cooking over the last....well...couple months!? Hm! Gonna have to correct that!
Let's start with one of the best tasting things around - panettone bread pudding. The recipe comes from Food Network's Giada De Laurentis...and I wonder if, just to be safe, I shouldn't repeat the ingredients here in case it ever disappears off their site? Hopefully they won't come after me for copyright issues!
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
* 2 teaspoons cornstarch
* 1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
* 8 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
* 2 1/2 cups whole milk
* 1 1/4 cups sugar
To be honest - I didn't bother with the sauce this time around. It was alright when I made the stuff last year, but it was sort of overkill... The bread pudding itself was so good I don't think the sauce was needed.
Anyhow - I'd been looking forward to one of these all holiday season this year, and yet I wasn't coming across panettone ANYWHERE. Last year Brett received one as a gift through work...and it was my goal to find one! Then we came across them at Wegman's while visiting my parents in NY just before Christmas, and we found them after Christmas while visiting Trader Joe's. I bought one at each place - they'll last for at least six months in their original packaging - so I'm wondering if I should've bought more!
Anyhow - let's get started. First check out the packaging - wondering if some store bought bread in a plastic wrapper inside of a box, that could last for so long, could amount to anything good.
As soon as you unwrap the panettone, you're overwhelmed with this incredible smell. Is it the dried fruit in the bread? Is there amaretto in it? I don't know...but wow does this very-eggy bread smell good! Ok, stop oggling, get it unwrapped and start cutting into roughly 1" cubes.
Then pack all those pieces of cubed up bread in a buttered 13x9" pan - OR something roughly that size if you're going more for decoration over function. ;-)
Next dump all the custard ingredients into a big bowl...check out how amazingly dark orange these farm eggs are! I think I screwed with the dairy measurements a little - I didn't have quite enough heavy cream, but I DID have some leftover eggnog...so I used that to top off the four cups of milk/cream. Worked out just fine! And rather than whisk it all together by hand (that's too much exercise), I hit it with the immersion blender...
There - perfectly blended!
Now start pouring the custard into the dish with the bread cubes....watch out - sometimes it wants to spray out and on to the counter if you're not careful!
Keep going! You want to get ALL of that liquid in there. Warning - it looks like it won't fit as you get near the end, but with a little squishing of the bread cubes in it, it really does work!
Unfortunately I didn't think to take any more pictures after this point. Oops! Hopefully I will the next time I make it (don't forget, there's one more panettone!!)... Let the above concoction sit for about 30 minutes so the bread can soak up more of the custard, and then bake it at 350 for 45 minutes. I might've even gone a little longer than this because I think I remember it still being real jiggly. Just bake it until it's not a soppy mess in the middle - you kind of have to decide how moist you like your bread pudding I guess.
I took this 13x9ish casserole in to work the next day, and it was CLEANED OUT by about lunch time! And we actually didn't have that many folks in the office that day, nor did too many folks come over from other depts for the goodies (folks were starting their new year diets...). I know I had at least two servings, and one person in our dept had at least three!!
Mmmm....I can almost smell it now. I might have to make the other batch real soon!