Panettone apple bread pudding

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To say I was excited when I received a Bauducco Panettone as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program would be a huge understatement.

You see, panettone epitomizes the holiday season in my family. I’m pretty sure 95% of Americans have no idea what Panettone even is but for me, it’s Christmas and New Year’s morning, bounding down the stairs and being more excited to cut into the loaf of bread than open presents (yes, it’s that good).

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I grew up in a very Italian American family. Sunday dinners of “macaroni & meatballs” were at grandma & grandpa’s for years during our childhood, Christmas Eve was celebrated with the 7 fishes (or close to it), my great-grandma called my brother “Adriano” instead of Adrian and bought us all underwear for Christmas, and panettone, which originated from the area of Milan close to where most of my mother’s side of the family comes from in Italy, was eaten Christmas morning for breakfast and usually again on New Year’s if we were lucky enough to have 2 loaves that year.

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I can remember trying to describe panettone to my friends growing up and struggling to find the words to adequately convey the deliciousness this “bread” is. It’s sweet, it’s cakelike, it’s moist (when they’re fresh), it’s buttery. Honestly, it’s perfection in a bite. I’m sure the childhood memories that accompany the bread add a bit of bias to my opinion of it but, if you don’t like this stuff, you’re just not human.

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Considering I’ve had many pieces of panettone in my lifetime already and know I love it, I wanted to do something different with this one. Something that highlighted the amazing sweetness and flavor to the bread but also honored the fall season we’re in right now. And that’s how this apple bread pudding was born.

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It was like a trip down memory lane with each bite being simultaneously transported back to Christmas as a kid and picking apples in the fall. The sweetness of both the bread and the apples is incredibly warming both literally and figuratively. I’m sorry if this sounds cheesy and you’re sitting here reading this thinking “is she seriously waxing poetically about bread right now?” but yes, yes I am. Panettone has this nostalgic effect on me that makes me remember everything good about family & youth and any food that can do that deserves some love.

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Panettone Apple Bread

Pudding

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s raisin-studded apple bread pudding

Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 lb panettone bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 apple, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, plumped in warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sliced almonds for topping (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Toast bread cubes on baking sheet for 10-12 minutes, tossing once. Grease 9×13 baking dish generously. Combine bread cubes, chopped apples and raisins in large bowl. In a separate bowl beat eggs and sugar. Add in vanilla, spices and salt and beat until combined. In a small saucepan on low-medium heat combine milk, almond milk and molasses until just heated, not boiling. Slowly beat milk & molasses mixture into egg & sugar mixture. Pour bread cubes, apple, raisins into greased baking dish. Pour egg & milk mixture over top and coat bread cubes evenly. Top with sliced almonds if using and let sit for 5-10 minutes before baking in oven for approximately 35-40 minutes.

 

Have you ever tried panettone?

What food do you associate with the holidays?

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Comments

    • 2

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Kind of, but more cakelike and less breadlike. Definitely like it in the butter content though. It’s really hard to explain!

  1. 4

    says

    I’ve never even heard of panettone, but that looks amazing.

    The food that reminds me of christmas is Swedish tea ring. My grandma always used to make it, but now that we don’t go to MI for Christmas, I’ve been put in charge. My dad says it’s not Christmas unless there’s tea ring.

  2. 8

    says

    I want to eat this. NOW.

    My mom married an Italian-Canadian guy about 11 years ago, and so I’ve only known panettone for that long, but I am so glad he introduced it to us. It is THE BEST, and now we get it every year. It’s kind of like if a loaf of bread and an angel food cake and a hot cross bun could sort of simultaneously procreate and create a bready-cakey baby. Americans have already adopted pizza and pasta wholeheartedly; I don’t know why panettone hasn’t caught on yet.

    I think my holiday food association has to be pumpkin pie or English trifle. Always the bad-for-you desserts.

    • 9

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Another great description! I hadn’t thought of the similarities to a hot cross bun, but you’re right! Especially with the raisins in there, it kind of mimics the dried fruit pieces in the hcb..

  3. 10

    says

    Yum! I love Panetonne – I was lucky enough to discover it when studying abroad in Milan and I’ve had to have it over the holidays every year since. Do you make your own (if so, I’d love the recipe)? Panettone as a bread pudding is a genius idea!

    Our family holiday recipe of choice, though, is an raspberry almond crepe recipe that my mom makes every year for Christmas morning brunch. It is amazing…and it’s funny because we never have it any other time of year.

    • 11

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Oh gosh no, I’ve never tried to make my own. It’s probably one of those things I’d rather not see first hand how much butter and sugar goes into it ;)

  4. 12

    says

    I love how you described that bread and the memories it evokes. It’s funny how much food can make memories seem so vivid.

    I’ve never tried pannetone, but it looks so tasty. Being Portuguese, sweet bread always brings back memories. My grandmother and then my mother used to make it for Christmas every year and then again for Easter (although for Easter, a whole raw egg was placed in the center of the dough and cooked in the oven). It was heavenly and I just cannot find a bakery around here that makes one just like it.

  5. 17

    barbara says

    Ok so insted of panettone for holiday breakfast, you’ll have to make the bread pudding
    panettone! Lets start with it as dessert for Thanksgiving!

  6. 21

    says

    Hi Gina! I’m checking out your blog for the first time and LOVE that you have a panettone recipe today! I studied abroad in Florence and first experienced this treat there – I still buy it at holidays when I see it in the huge tall cartons in specialty stores. I never considered making it myself but I know I would love spending an evening in the kitchen, my Italian pop music circa 2004 cranked up on my iPod, baking this treat. Thanks for including it :)

  7. 25

    says

    I know you watch the Food Network so you’ll totally get this, but this was such a good post! It’s like watching that Food Network show where you are watching someone make a delicious meal while talking about a past experience and how it reminds them of their childhood. I have NO idea what Penettone is, but after reading this, I’m DYING to try it.

  8. 26

    Maryanne Long says

    Oh my, this looks amazing and it’s been ages since I made bread pudding. I’ve never even heard of panettone, but that looks amazing. My hubby loves all things apple so I might just have to make this for him soon!

  9. 27

    Nanette Warner says

    Kind of, but more cakelike and less breadlike. My grandma always used to make it, but now that we don’t go to MI for Christmas, I’ve been put in charge.

Trackbacks

  1. […] course this has to do with food…Christmas morning we always opened a fresh panettone and it would honestly rival opening presents as a kid. It’s that good. You have to try one if you […]

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