Next up I tackled Yvette van Boven's Panettone & Custard Pudding recipe. I absolutely flip over bread pudding, but honestly I don't ever make it. I think it might have been my lack of experience with custards or I simply don't have bread around long enough to go stale. I do like french toast, but bread pudding is truly a treat. This is a riff on the bread pudding, a bread and butter pudding.
The base of a bread pudding is, you guessed it, the bread. Your best bet is a bread that can easily absorb liquids, but does not turn to mush. Something like a brioche, challah or panettone. This recipe called for panettone. Weirdly enough we had half a panettone around after the holidays. I swear this never happens, so it was fate that I tackled this recipe when I did. Panettone differs, but most have bits of dried fruits strewn in the batter. They are hard to find year-round, but are everywhere during the holidays.
Something delightful happens when you soak prunes in alcohol. They plump up and absorb the alcohol's flavor. Forget jello shots, because prune shots is where it's at. I really enjoyed using rum here, but the original recipe does call for amaretto. Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur. You might have tried amaretto cookies before--they're crunchy with the unmistakable amaretto taste. Unfortunately I don't have too much use for it in my everyday life, so rum works just fine.
The basic formula for this bread pudding = toasted slices of panettone + rum soaked prunes + custard. Here the slices of panettone were buttered and broiled for a bit. The prunes were distributed throughout and the custard covered the whole thing.
To bake, you place the pan in the oven inside of a larger dish filled with hot water. This hot water steams up the oven, allowing the custard to cook evenly. It's a smart technique, one I would probably overlook, but really shouldn't.
Out pops a bread and butter pudding, both soft and toasty. The prunes get warm and bloated, sharing their rum flavor with neighboring bites. To serve I topped the pudding with crushed amaretto cookies and way too much confectioners' sugar. I aim to experiment with bread pudding in the future, perhaps thinking up a way this would work for a mother's day brunch. Stay tuned.