At this time of year no bona fide Italian would turn up to a dinner party without an elegantly packaged panettone, pandoro or torrone. If you people-watch at passeggiata time (that lovely post-day, pre-evening interlude), you’ll see all sorts strolling about, carrying their tasteful confections. In deference to this simple and lovely tradition, we started to make our own olive oil panettone. We were very proud when it recently came a close second in a Guardian taste test, and were the first panettone to be mentioned in the New York times for 9 years. Trouble is that this meant we ran out of stock in just three days. So in case you get given a panettone made by someone else, we’ve got a little recipe to turn it into something special.
Panettone – 750g/26oz
Butter – 75g/2.6oz
Milk – 400ml/13.5fl oz
Cream – 150ml/5fl oz single or double
Eggs – 2 free range
Sugar – 125g/1oz
Ground cinnamon – sprinkling
Ground nutmeg – sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/GM4. Cut your panettone into slices about 1.5cm/½ inch thick. Butter one side of each slice and then cut it into triangles.
Lay the pieces on an oven proof baking dish. Continue until you fill the dish, nice and cosy.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and gently whisk them with the sugar. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan (you can add vanilla too if you like) until it just below boiling. Slowly pour the milk/cream mixture into the mixing bowl with the eggs, stirring continuously. Pour the mixture evenly over the panettone soaking each bready peak, and then put it in the oven for about 25 mins, or until the exposed panettone starts to brown. Eat straight away with cold single cream. (You can also cool it, take to a friend’s house, receive adulation, reheat and eat there).
See some more photos in our Panettone bread & butter pudding album here.