In trying to keep with my mostly healthy recipe writing, cooking and eating mission, I was challenged to come up with a way to use a full-sized sample of Bauducco Panettone I received via the Taste Makers program from FoodBuzz, my blog sponsor. Panettone is a sweet, rich, delightful, seasonal Italian "specialty cake" that I tend to only buy once a year, usually around Christmas time. Think of it as a giant cross-bred brioche and a challah that's studded with candied fruits, chestnuts, candied fruits and raisins. The Bauducco Panettone is delicious on it's own, and it's even better as french toast, as a toasted or grilled peanut butter sandwich or in a bread pudding. The challenge for me was to try to keep it light and if possible, keeping the addition of fat and sugars down so that it wouldn't turn into a 5,000 calorie and 20 grams of fat dessert. As the panettone is already sweet and rich, there was no need for me to add additional fat or sugar. I lightened the ingredients I could control, thereby making a decadent dessert a bit more Weight Watcher friendly. The results were splendid and no one missed the heavy cream, extra eggs, butter or sugar. No fake ingredients here!
- 1 Large Bauducco Panettone Specialty Cake with Raisins (26.20 ounce package) - cut into cubes
- 2 Whole Eggs and 1 Egg White - beaten (or use 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg, or an equal measure of egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Skim Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
- 1/4 Cup Craisins - optional
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts - optional
- Light Butter Spread or Cooking Spray - for greasing baking pan
- 2 Large mixing bowls
- Deep Dish Baking or Casserole Pan - at least 3 inches deep (I used a Pyrex Deep Dish Square Casserole dish)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut and cube the Bauducco Panettone bread into 2 or 3-inch cubes. Add the cubed panettone to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Grease or spray the baking casserole pan with light butter or cooking spray, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg whites with the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until the eggs are light and fluffy and the sugar is disolved.
- Whisk in the skim milk, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.
- Place 1/2 of the cubed panettone bread into the greased baking casserole. Scatter half of the craisins and walnuts (if using) over the top of the panettone bread. Add the remaining cubed panettone on top of the first layer and then scatter the remaining craisins and walnuts over the top layer of cubed panettone.
- Pour the custard mixture over the layers of panettone in the casserole dish, pressing the bread down in the casserole.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, checking on the panettone bread pudding to see if it's done - a knife or cake tester inserted into the center should come out cleanly and the pudding should be firm to the touch.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and allow to cool at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 6 to 8. Will keep, covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Serve warm with warm Pumpkin Maple Sauce (recipe below), or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Pumpkin Maple Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
- 2 Tablespoons Light Butter or Margarine
- 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Pinch of Salt
- Combine all the ingredients together into a heat-safe or microwave-safe bowl. Whisk together until the ingredients are smooth. Heat mixture for 2 minutes in a microwave or in a sauce pot just until just before the mixture comes to a boil. Whisk again to combine.
- Makes 1 & 1/4 cups of "liquid pumpkin pie". Will hold for 1 week in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
- Heat before re-serving and to emulsify the butter and the pumpkin.