If you have some panettone turning stale and want something different than French toast, consider making it into ice cream. Dice the bread into chunks, toast them until golden brown, then steep them in hot cream and milk for a buttery, eggy, super-rich custard-like ice cream. Serve it with a drizzle of maple syrup, or toss in some toasted almonds and pistachios with rum-soaked dried apricots for something even more holiday-appropriate.
Because the panettone absorbs so much liquid, your final yield will only amount to half the dairy you start with. The recipe as written makes one pint. It also works with leftover brioche, croissants, and other rich breads.
- 8 ounces panetonne (about 5 cups), diced into 1-inch cubes
- 2 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
Heat oven to 250°F and arrange panettone chunks on a half-sheet pan in a single layer. Toast until chunks turn golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. (Keep your eyes on them.)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer. Stir in toasted panettone chunks, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.
Pour bread and dairy mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on bread with a wooden spoon or spatula to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Measure out 2 cups of panettone-infused dairy and reserve the rest for another use.
In a clean, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk egg yolks together with sugar until very well combined, pale yellow in color, and slightly thick. Slowly pour in panettone-infused dairy, whisking constantly, then bring saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until a custard forms on the back of a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a clean line, or until custard reaches 160°F.
Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container and chill overnight (or until ice cream base falls to 40°F or below). The next day, churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.
ice cream maker