It’s holiday time! For me and my family that means family gatherings and good food…..lots of it! All the favorites are lovingly prepared for hours on end and then devoured in what seems like an instant! As an Italian-Canadian family we enjoy all our favorite seafood dishes on Christmas Eve and a more typical Canadian turkey dinner on Christmas Day with a number of favorite Italian side dishes.
Some of our family’s favorites evolved over the years. Some recipes were adapted to suit the growing extended family. For example….Nonna’s meat stuffing was always stuffed in the turkey but as the family grew and we needed way more, I developed my own adaptation cooked outside the bird. Nonna’s was always so moist, so in order to maintain that moistness outside the bird, I wrapped it in bacon! Well, needless to say, it was a big hit and now it graces the table every year. This recipe will be included in my first cookbook!
Now other recipes are perfect just the way they are! This is a family favorite that usually makes an appearance at Christmas time. It combines Italian panettone and a rich custard! It is affectionately known in our house as “Alex’s favorite”!
Blessings for the holiday season with your loved ones….
Buon Natale! Natalina xo
Giada De Laurentiis Panettone bread pudding with Amaretto Sauce:
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the Bread Pudding:
Butter, for baking dish
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 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. Re-warm before serving.)
To make the bread pudding: Lightly butter a 13x9x2-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 350F.
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.