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This is a delightful, truly Italian dessert and is really worth the time to prepare it. Your family and guests will look on you as the greatest cook there ever was.

Do not mistake this bread as a fruitcake! It is not heavy and the fruit is exotic enough to please any palate. The Limoncello Glacè just gives it another layer of yumminess.


INGREDIENTS: Makes 4 - 6 Servings

■ 1 large pannetone, about 2 pounds 

■ ¼ cup water 

■ 1½ cups sugar 

■ 3 cups whole milk 

■ Zest of ½ lemon 

■ 4 extra large eggs 

■ 1 stick butter, melted

6 cup souffle dish with vertical sides.  Ideal dimensions: 6 inch diameter by 4 inch height.


1.  Cut off the domed top and the side and bottom crust of the panettone leaving about a bit
over a pound's worth. Trim the pannetone further so that it fits very snugly into the dish you
have chosen and comes just to the top edge of the dish. Slice it crosswise into ½ inch thick 
slices. Leave them exposed overnight to the air or put them on a cookie sheet in a very low
oven for an hour or so, until the panettone has dried out a bit.

2. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Combine the water with ¾ cup of the sugar in a heavy, 2-quart
saucepan. Stir over high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid clears. Cook 
undisturbed until the edges start to brown; then swirl the pan continuously and vigorously until 
all the sugar has caramelized to a golden amber color. Immediately pour the caramel into the
souffle dish. As the caramel cools and hardens, turn the dish in all directions so that the
inside is evenly coated. The caramel will spread further in baking.

3. In a saucepan, bring the milk and lemon zest to a simmer, remove from the heat and allow
to cool for a few minutes. In a large bowl, mix well the remaining ¾ cup sugar with the eggs.
Gradually stir in the hot milk.

4. Trim one slice of panettone so that it fits into the bottom of the souffle dish. Spoon 2 or 3 
tablespoons of melted butter over it and then enough of the custard mixture to cover the
panettone. Let it absorb the custard, adding more if necessary to cover. Repeat with 
additional slices of panettone, melted butter, and custard until the dish is filled to the very top.
With each slice (and especially the last), use your palm to hold down the pannetone until it 
completely submerged and saturated with custard. Do not compress the pannetone, or the
pudding will be too dense. Drizzle any remaining butter over the top.

5. Place the souffle dish into a larger pan filled with enough very hot tap water to come three-
quarters of the way up the side of the dish. Bake for about an hour and a half. The top should 
be puffed and brown, the pudding should begin to pull away from the sides of the dish, and
the internal temperature should rise to between 160º F and 170º F. Allow the pudding to cool
for at least 15 minutes. Just before serving, run a thin knife around the inside of the dish and
un-mold the pudding by inverting the souffle dish onto a large plate. Serve warm, cut into
wedges and drizzle Limoncello Glacè over the top of the wedges.


■ 1 cup heavy cream

■ 2 oz. unsalted butter

■ ¼ cup sugar

■ 1 tsp. Lemon Zest

■ 2 oz. Limoncello Liqueur**SEE COOK'S NOTES**

■ 2 tsp. corn starch
In a saucepan, add the cream, butter sugar and orange zest and bring to a light boil. Blend the corn
starch completely in the Limoncello and add to the boiling cream mixture. Stir continuously until the
glacè thickens. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Drizzle over the wedges of bread


■  ½ cup seedless golden raisins
■  ½ cup seedless dark raisins
■  ½ cup Black Mission figs -- cut in 1/2-inch
■  ½ cup Calimyrna figs -- cut in 1/2-inch
■  ¾ cup cognac


■ ½ cupmilk -- at room temperature
■ 4 teaspoons moist yeast or 2 tsps. dry yeast
■ ¾ cup organic all-purpose white flour*

■ 9  tablespoons  unsalted butter -- softened
■ ⅓ cup sugar
■ ½ vanilla bean halved horizontally, or
■ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
■ 2 large eggs, at room temperature
■ 4  egg yolks,  at room temperature
■ ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
■ 3  cups organic all-purpose white flour*  (3 to 4)
■ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Note: These are approximate measures.  You may use more or less depending on
the weight and absorbency of your flour. 

Note: Allow 8 hours to soak the fruits. Allow 1 hour to ferment the poolish. 
Total preparation and baking time (not including fermenting the poolish or soaking the fruits):
7 hours, 15 minutes. 

A classic in Italy and France at holiday time, this bread is so light and well packed with fruit that it's
almost a confection. It's good anytime you want something sweet with tea or coffee. I make it in a
spring form pan, as authentic pannetone pans are difficult to locate. If you have one, use my recipe
in a well-buttered mold, but experiment with the baking time,  it may take longer.


1. Prepare the dried fruit (allow 8 hours or overnight): Combine the raisins and figs in a bowl.
Heat the cognac in a small saucepan until just warm, then pour over raisin mixture. Set aside
at least 8 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally if possible.

2. Make and ferment the poolish (allow 1 hour):  Combine the milk and yeast in a medium
bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until yeast dissolves. Add the flour and stir until the mixture
is the consistency of a batter, about 100 strokes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a
rubber spatula. Cover with  a clean damp towel or plastic wrap, and put in a moderately warm
(74º - 80ºF) draft-free place until puffy and domed.

3. Mix and knead the final dough (20 minutes): Measure the ingredients. Combine the butter
and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle blade. Beat on medium
speed until smooth, about 1½ minutes. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, scrape the seeds
out of the vanilla bean. Discard the pod. Add the poolish, eggs and egg yolks, salt and vanilla
seeds; beat on medium speed 5 minutes, then gradually add 1 c. of the flour. Fit the mixer
with the dough hook. Add 2½ c. of the remaining flour and continue beating at medium speed
for 10 minutes. Drain the fruit well, if necessary, and add, beating 2 minutes more. Turn out
onto a lightly floured surface and knead, until smooth and slightly sticky, adding more flour if
necessary, about 3 minutes.

4. Ferment the dough (about 2 1/2 hours): Shape the dough into a ball and place smooth
side down in a well-buttered 6-qt. bowl. Turn the dough to coat the top with butter. Take the
dough's temperature: the ideal is 78º F. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and
place in a moderately warm (74º - 80º F) draft-free place until doubled in volume.

Note: If the dough temperature is higher than 78º F,   put it in a cooler than 78º F
place like the refrigerator,   until the dough cools to 78 degrees F.    If it is lower than 78º F,
put it in a warmer than 78º F place until the dough warms to 78º F. The point is to try to keep
the dough at 78º F during it fermentation.  If you do have to move the dough, be gentle and
don't jostle it, or the dough may deflate.   Divide the dough and shape into a loaf (about 10
minutes).  Deflate the dough by pushing down in the center and pulling up on the sides.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Shape into a log.

5. Proof the loaf (2 to 3 hours):  Butter a 10-inch spring form pan or pannetone pan. Press
the loaf into the prepared pan. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and put in a
moderately warm (74º - 80º F) draft-free place until the dough rises nearly to the rim of the

6. Bake the loaf (45 minutes): Forty-five minutes to 1 hour before baking,  preheat the oven
and homemade hearth or baking stone on the center rack of the oven to 400º F. Bake 20
minutes. Cover the top loosely with foil and continue baking until the loaf is golden brown and
a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and
brush the top with the melted butter. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Un-mold and cool
completely before serving. 

Makes 1 round 10-inch loaf.
Yield: 8 servings.

You can make your Glacè with different Liqueurs.  For example,  you can use Galliano® 
liqueur,  and use orange zest instead of lemon zest.  You could even try a coffee
liqueur and put some crushed coffee beans in the glacè.

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