It’s exactly a month since Christmas Day. The last of the ham has been eaten and the ham bone’s in the freezer for a soup during cool months; the turkey leftovers were re-invented into the delights of a Turkey Curry Buffet ala’ Bridget Jones’ mother; and, the chocolates have been depleted despite yourself. But there’s one leftover sitting prettily on the shelf, mocking you. It’s the panettone. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. ‘We can serve slices of this for breakfast on Christmas Morning. Toasted with butter and a cup of coffee. If there’s any left over, we can make some sort of fancy trifle to serve at the New Year’s Eve Party.’ If there’s any left over….of course there’s panettone left over. There always is. You were too busy on Christmas morning to worry about slicing and toasting it. By 8am you were breakfasting on chocolate truffles, cherries and possibly onto your second Champagne. You did manage to cut a couple of slices over the break but my goodness!, those panettone are big. And what’s worse, the minute the air hits it, it starts to go stale. Perhaps this is not the case in your house but it is a regular occurrence in mine. I still buy them every year, mostly because I can’t resist that gorgeous festive packaging.
Panettone is a festive bread from Italy, most often shaped in the form of a dome to mirror the duomo or cupolas of the great Basilicas of Italy, such as St Peter’s in Rome and Florence Cathedral. Though the origins of a leavened fruitcake date back to Roman times, it was two Milanese bakers who started making panettone in commercial quantities, in the early 20th Century. They created an industry and now Italian bakers produce over 115 million panettone each year. I didn’t buy a panettone this year as we were going interstate over Christmas but I was gifted a small one. Very cute. In the past, I’ve used panettone to make a bread and butter pudding. It’s great for this as the airy texture soaks up the egg mixture exceedingly well and the citrus flavour gives a nice back note. A mini panettone though doesn’t give you much in the way of bread and butter pudding so I decided on something different. Blueberries are cheap and plentiful at the moment which is why I also decided to make this quick jam. If you can’t get blueberries or they are too pricey, you can use some frozen mixed berries but just use a little less orange juice. This is an easy weekend breakfast and when you finally do finish off the panettone, you can move on to the last pieces of country loaf that are starting to go stale.
- 2 slices mini panettone (or 1 slices large panettone, halved)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- butter for greasing pan
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 fresh orange or 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Whisk egg, milk and cinnamon together in a flat dish
- Lay slices of panettone in egg mix and set aside for a few minutes. Turn over after a few minutes to allow bread to fully soak.
- While bread is soaking, add blueberries, juice and sugar to a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat.
- Stir blueberries to dissolve and then stir every minutes or so. After a few minutes, the blueberries will start to collapse and their juices will start to flow.
- Continue to cook until the liquid starts to reduce and the mixture starts to become jammy. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add enough butter to grease the pan.
- When butter is foaming, carefully remove bread from egg mixture and lay slices of bread into the frying pan.
- Cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until golden underneath. Turn over bread and cook for a few minutes on the other side.
- Place slices of panettone on plate and spoon jammy blueberries over the top. Serve as is or with a dollop of cream or yoghurt. Dust with icing sugar is you wish.