Panettone is a rich Italian bread containing sweet morsels of dried fruits and nuts that is often prepared for the Christmas season.
3 medium eggs
3/4 cup golden caster sugar
1-3/4 cups double cream
1-3/4 cups milk
10 to 12, 1 cm-thick slices panettone
1 vanilla pod
1/4 cup apricot jam, warmed and sieved (optional)
Step 1: Heat the oven to 170 ºC. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the cream and milk.
Step 2: Butter the panettone slices and arrange in overlapping slices to cover the base of a 14” oval gratin or other shallow ovenproof dish.
Step 3: Pour the custard through a sieve over and around the panettone and tuck the vanilla pod beneath the custard in the centre.
Step 4: Place the dish in a bain-marie (water bath): fill a roasting pan with cold water that comes two thirds of the way up the sides. Bake for 1 hour until the custard is puffy and set and the bread golden.
Step 5: Remove vanilla pod and discard. Brush the surface of the bread with the apricot jam; this is optional but it gives the pudding a lovely sticky glaze. Serve immediately.