It’s Friday again – and just in time. Fridays call for something special, preferably slightly spectacular, to bring along to Angie’s Fiesta Friday party. But then, again, the end of the week also leaves us with a few bits and bobs, leftovers from various meals and baking experiments. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – especially if you made some sweet breads or if you are lucky enough to get your hands on the last tin of heavily-reduced panettone in your local supermarket.
A few years ago Julie Bindel had a hilarious article in the Guardian entitled ‘Save us from Panettone‘, claiming that nobody ever ate this ‘monstrosity’ and that its only purpose was to take up space in your kitchen. I must be the exception – I absolutely love the stuff! And once Christmas is over, you can stock up on it quite cheaply. A slice of fresh panettone with a cup or two of coffee – bliss.
I’ve posted a recipe for a bread-and-butter pudding before, but this one is slightly more spectacular – so, should you have any panettone left over, or if you are already busy planning this year’s Christmas dinner, I present you with this delicious steamed panettone pudding: so much lighter than a traditional plum pudding, and served with custard or a slightly boozy zabaglione, leftovers will never taste as glorious as this.
Obviously, for those of you who cannot stand panettone, or who missed out on the sales, you can always use any other sweet yeast bread or even hot cross buns; just add raisins (soaked in marsala) and up the amount of chopped almonds and orange or lemon peel to achieve a more panettony flavour. With Easter approaching, there’ll be lots of sweet breads in our house, and with it a ‘mock panettone pudding’ or two!
This recipe fits my pudding form, which has a capacity of ca. 1.3 litres. You might need to adapt the quantities or use two smaller forms. I read somewhere that you can also steam puddings in the oven, but I have never attempted this. I used a large casserole, big enough to fit my form, and steamed it on the hob.
Panettone Pudding (serves 6-8)
For the pudding:
- 400g panettone, slightly stale
- 250ml warm milk
- 1 tbs fine breadcrumbs
- 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 eggs, separated
- 50g caster sugar
- 4 tbs vanilla sugar
- 60g toasted chopped almonds
- 60g mixed peel
- the grated zest of a lemon
- 40g raisins, soaked overnight in 2 cl marsala
Cut the panettone into small cubes and pour the warm milk over it. The smaller you cut the bread, the more even the texture of the finished pudding will be. I went for 2cm/ 1 inch cubes, or slightly bigger. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, occasionally turning it over. If your panettone or buns are very stale, you might want to add more milk to soften the bread.
Prepare your pudding mould by greasing it carefully with the butter; sprinkle some fine breadcrumbs on the butter to make sure the pudding is not going to stick to the mould. Cut some baking parchment into a circle, slightly bigger than the diameter of your mould.
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Leave aside.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the remaining butter and sugar until they are creamy and frothy. Add the vanilla sugar and the eggs and keep whisking for a further 4-5 minutes. Add the almonds, mixed peel, lemon zest and raisins. Once they are distributed evenly, add the panettone cubes and mix. Finally fold in the egg whites.
Pour the mix into the prepared pudding mould and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper before closing the lid. Ideally you’ll only fill it to a bit over 3/4 to give the pudding space to rise. Place the lidded form into the boiling water and close the lid of the pot. Keep it simmering for an hour.
When you’re ready, remove the pudding mould from the pot. Open the lid and carefully cut along the mould with a sharp knife. Place it upside down on the serving plate and shake a little until it comes out. Leave the mould on the pudding for a few minutes to make sure it retains its shape.
Serve with custard or with zabaglione – I’ll post the recipe of the latter over the next days.
I’ll bring this one over to Angie’s, who is hosting the weekly Fiesta Friday events over at The Novice Gardener – I hope they’ll like it!