Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekly Recipe #47: Panettone Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

By Susan Pagani, Communications Director

On the historic side, this rather boozy dessert famously kept Sir Ernest Shackleton's crew toasty warm and content as they drifted on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, waiting out the interminable winter aboard the Endurance in 1915.

Okay, that story is simply not true. However, I am very fond of this particular bread pudding because it combines two of my favorite foods with my drink of choice: Panettone, toast and bourbon. If I had to spend a very dark winter stuck in an iceberg on a wooden boat, it is exactly the kind of food I would want to eat every night before tucking into my bunk.

Panettone Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

(Serves 6-8)

Bread Pudding:

1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup brandy, heated
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 lb panettone, sliced
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the middle.
2. Soak raisins in hot brandy for 15 minutes, then strain the brandy off.
3. Meanwhile, butter panettone on both sides and toast it in batches in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until golden on both sides.
4. Whisk together remaining ingredients and set aside.
5. Tear panettone into bite-size pieces and spread evenly in a shallow buttered 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Scatter raisins over top, then pour in egg mixture. Let stand 30 minutes.
6. Bake until pudding is golden and just set, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with a spoonful or two of bourbon sauce.

Bourbon sauce:

2 egg yolks
1 stick salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup bourbon

1. Beat egg yolks, butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla and 1/2 cup bourbon.
3. In the top of a double boiler, cook the sauce until temperature reads 165 on a thermometer, beating constantly.
4. Remove sauce from the stove and strain.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat sauce until it is slightly cool, adding the remaining bourbon in batches. Spoon onto bread pudding.

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