Featured Recipe – Eggnog Bread Pudding

New Canaan mom of two young children, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ 2012 Top 100 Sites for Women, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends. Though she has been honing her cooking skills for years, it wasn’t until she had children that she really appreciated make-ahead recipes that allow her to be a super (busy) mom… and also sit down as a family for delicious meals with minimal effort. This month, Eila is sharing one of her favorite (and totally decadent) holiday brunch recipes, which can also be served as a festive dessert, drizzled with homemade caramel sauce. Eila has adapted this recipe to work with the 2 lb. Sclafani Panettone sold at Walter Stewart’s (which can be found on seasonal rack up by checkout), and she has written this recipe both to be baked in small disposable tins, wonderful for gifting… and in larger baking pans, perfect for gathering as a crowd this holiday season!
Eggnog Bread Pudding
(makes six 4-serving pans or two 13×9” pans*)

  • 2 lb loaf of panettone
  • 9 eggs
  • 6 cups (1 ½ quarts) of eggnog
  • 3 or 4 Tablespoons of vanilla
  • zest of an orange (optional)
  • six 8 x 5 ¼” disposable baking dishes (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350. Cut the panettone into roughly 1″ cubes and place the bread in the baking dish. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, eggnog, vanilla and orange zest (if you are adding it) and mix until well blended. Pour eggnog mixture evenly over bread. Let this sit and continue to soak while the oven is warming up. Bake on middle oven rack uncovered for the first half of the baking time, then covered for the second half, so the top doesn’t brown too much.
For six small (8×5 ¼”) disposable baking dishes:
Your cook time will be about 40 minutes.
For two 13×9” baking dishes:
Your cook time will be between 1 hour, and 1 hour 15 minutes.

You’ll know it’s done when a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
This dish can be made-ahead, either fully baked (and then warmed in the oven, covered loosely with foil) or you can pour the egg mixture over the top and pop it into the fridge, and bake it the next day if you want to wow your family/friends/house guests with an absolutely amazing smelling kitchen. If it’s going straight from the fridge into the oven, the smaller pans will take about 1 hour to cook, and the 13×9” pans will take more like 1.5 hours to bake.
The recipe is decadent and delicious, as is. But, I also made it with homemade caramel sauce this year and oh, my goodness it was amazing. If you would like to make the caramel sauce, it takes just a few minutes, and can be whipped up while the bread pudding is baking…
Caramel Sauce
(makes 2 cups, which more than enough…)

  •  1 lb box dark brown sugar (about 3 cups)
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a saucepan, whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and continue stirring with a whisk until sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Extra caramel sauce is wonderful served over ice cream!
Here is the recipe in photos, for those who enjoy a visual. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine does!