This apple bread pudding is made with panettone, an Italian specialty bread with raisins and almonds. It’s a sweet treat perfect for the holidays.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever tried panettone?
What food do you associate with the holidays?