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Taste of Europe: Jun’s panettone pudding

This recipe is a must for anyone who has some old, stale, sweet Italian bread lying around

Jun Tanaka's panettone pudding. Photo: Paul Winch-Furness

I saw a lot of panettone chat on Twitter over Christmas. Perhaps everybody has become Italian! OK, it’s more likely that everybody on my feed is middle class. I live in Clapham, after all.

It stands to reason that I’m very particular about my panettone because my nonna introduced me to it many years ago and has only ever bought extremely good ones. I’ve never thought to ask where she gets hers, but then, however meticulous buyers might be, it is more than likely that they will encounter a poor panettone somewhere along the line.

Terrible panettones are far more common than agreeable ones. They’re everywhere: lurking in try-hard supermarkets, eager but suboptimal bakers and middling restaurant chains. What to do with them? The obvious answer is to throw the lot at a goose, but another option is to make bread-and-butter pudding.

The dessert is perfectly suited for winter. In its bottom is soft, buttery bread, on its top is crispy, textural stimulation, throughout the dish is cream perfumed deliciously by vanilla, and all about the place are sweet pockets of raisins. All of this together reminds you to carry on. I might use words such as “warming” and “hearty”; possibly I would follow these with “stodgy”..

Anyway, here is Jun Tanaka’s leftover panettone pudding. His restaurant, The Ninth, has beautiful dishes including Huelva white prawns and ossobuco tortellini, and his recipe for the dessert is lovely and simple.

It’s a must for anyone who has some old, stale, sweet Italian bread lying around.

Ingredients:

Leftover panettone

For the Crème Anglaise:

500ml milk
500ml double cream
100g sugar
3 eggs
25g vanilla essence

Method:

  1. For the Crème Anglaise, mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Take an oven-proof dish and add a layer of panettone. Ladle some of the Anglaise over the panettone. Then add another layer of panettone and some more Anglaise. Repeat this process until all the panettone is used up.
  3. Bake in the oven at 110C for 45 minutes.
  4. Take out of the oven and allow the dish to cool to room temperature.
  5. Sprinkle some caster sugar over the top and blowtorch until caramelised. Serve with ice cream.

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