Surely you've got some panettone left? Anybody who can eat a whole one of those in one sitting should buy two to make sure there's enough left to make this Italian-style bread pudding.
The Society's Sauternes is just plain lovely, of course, but so are any number of more exotic sweeties like Samos Anthemis or Tokaji.
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Serves 8, generously
- 12 dried cardamom pods
- Butter for greasing
- 500g day-old panettone or pandoro, sliced thickly
- 85g pecans, roughly chopped
- finely-grated rind of a small orange or lemon
- 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
- Freshly-grated nutmeg, to taste
- 3 eggs, beaten until frothy
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 500ml whole milk
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 85g unsalted butter, melted
- icing sugar for dusting
Begin with the cardamom pods. Slit them and extract the tiny black seeds. Discard the husks and toast the seeds lightly in a dry frying pan to extract their flavour. Let them cool and crush them to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. Butter a flan dish about 28cm in diameter and pack in the panettone slices, sprinkling as you go with the nuts and citrus rind. Add the caster sugar to the beaten eggs, along with the cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Stir in the melted butter and the milk, combine well, and carefully pour the mixture over the panettone slices. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a cool place for a few hours, until the liquid is well absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Remove the clingfilm and bake the pudding for 40mins. It should be golden brown on top, but retain some wobble. Switch off the oven and leave the pudding to cool inside it.
Serve cold, just warm or gently reheated, cut into wedges and dusted liberally with icing sugar, and topped with mascarpone or clotted cream.
Janet Wynne Evans