Recipe courtesy of Denise Browning

Pudim de Panetone

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (including cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
Unlike the typically chunky American bread pudding, this Brazilian panettone bread pudding is smooth and creamy, resembling a caramel flan (although denser). It is garnished with candied fruits, making it a perfect dessert for Christmas. Brazilian bread pudding is usually made with stale French bread and mixed in a blender. Due to the deep influence of Italian immigrants on Southern Brazilian cuisine, panettone, a sweet Italian bread, became a staple on Brazilian tables at Christmastime; panettone can either be served as is, or used to make desserts such as this one. It is a feast for the eyes!

Ingredients

Panettone Bread Pudding:

Caramel:

Garnish:

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. For the panettone bread pudding: In a large bowl, soak the stale panettone chunks in the warm milk until softened, about 15 minutes.
  3. For the caramel: Meanwhile, stir together the sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water in a nonstick medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and mixture turns an amber color, 8 to 10 minutes. (Make sure to not stir the mixture when cooking, although you can tilt the pan to gently swirl once when you reduce to medium heat.) Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the caramel into a 10-inch ring baking pan, tilting it in a circular motion to evenly coat the sides and bottom with the caramel. Because the caramel will be hot, wear oven mitts! Let it sit until hardened, at least 5 minutes.
  5. In a blender, blend the soaked bread with the milk, eggs, sugar and orange extract until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, mix the coated candied fruits into the batter. Then, pour the mixture into the ring pan lined with the hardened caramel.
  6. Bake, uncovered, until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bread pudding cool down until slightly warm, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread pudding. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and carefully flip the pan onto the plate. Serve the bread pudding warm or, preferably, cover and refrigerate until chilled, up to 2 days.
  9. For the garnish: Decorate the top and sides with candied fruits, slice the pudding and enjoy!

Cook’s Note

To make the panettone stale, cut it into small chunks. Spread them out onto a large shallow baking sheet and let them harden overnight. If you forget to leave them out overnight, don’t worry. Toast the chunks in the oven at 350 degrees F just until hardened, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let them burn. Allow them to cool before soaking them. Mixing the candied fruits with flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. For a richer bread pudding, soak the chopped candied fruits in rum for 48 hours before draining them, coating in flour and adding to the batter. Because bread pudding is technically a custard, it is preferable to bake it in a bain-marie, which allows it to cook slowly and more evenly. For the bain-marie, place the ring pan in a larger, rectangular baking pan and fill with boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ring mold pan. Bake until set and slightly jiggly, 45 to 55 minutes.