Panettone is a kind of Italian sweet bread, studded with dried fruits, particularly candied citrus zest. It gets more respect than it's Christmas carbohydrate cousin, the oft-maligned fruit cake, but it's still plentiful on the shelves of World Market and Central Market in the final days of December for half off. It's tasty as it is, but I can see why after a slice or two on Christmas Day it might not seem exciting enough to finish the loaf.
There are always options for adding excitement to cakey and/or bready leftovers, though. Maybe a little panettone french toast for Boxing Day brunch, for instance? Since french toast doesn't really work as a treat to bring into work, though, I went with another classic treatment: bread pudding. It's not the first time I've done something like this, with yet another Christmas-y sweet bread, in fact. But the flavors here are different enough from my Mini Stollen Bread Puddings last year to warrant a return to the custard-soaked goodness of this type of dessert.
After a little Google searching, I found this recipe over on Flourish, King Arthur Flour's blog. I love that it plays on the citrus-leanings of the panettone, keeping it from being just rich and bland. And because my mother loves lemon and bread pudding, putting the two together resulted in what may be her favorite dish yet.
Citrus Panettone Bread Pudding
Recipe from King Arthur Flour: Panettone Bread Pudding
- I had two smaller loaves of panettone so I doubled the recipe in a 9x13 pan, and baking for about twice the time
- Instead of half and half or cream, I melted the same amount of ice cream and did not add the 1/4 cup of sugar in the recipe
- I used an entire jar of lemon curd from Trader Joe's for the filling (with perhaps a little reserved for me)