Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Panettone French Toast Casserole....

this recipe was soooooo good. My mother-in-law brought us a Panettone when the in laws came down for Thanksgiving. With the mass amounts of food I made, we never had a chance to break it open. Mr. Allan had been ogling the package on top of the fridge, but I new if he opened, he'd eat it all. He has a knack for eating everything to the bottom of its container or bag.

So....this bad boy sat atop the Allan fridge for weeks...
what is it exactly? It's an Italian fruit cake...but it's not cakey...it's more like Portuguese sweet break with raisins and specks of other fruits.

Every Christmas I make a special breakfast for the two of us while the cats look on. Since we've bought a house, we've tried to make it a tradition to spend Christmas morning in our own home, even if it means missing out on some family activities. So, i cheat a bit and make as decadent of a breakfast as my healthy calorie counting mind can imagine.

I thought I could find something interesting to make with the Panettone. I hit up my favorite go to recipe site http://www.allrecipes.com/ but nothing was catching my eye. I resorted to googling and came across a recipe on Whole Foods website. It did not disappoint.

I sauteed 4 granny smith apples. I put a little mixture of brown sugar and melted butter in the bottom of the pan, layered the apples, sprinkled some craisins and then cubed Panettone on top. Then, a milk and egg mixture to mimic a french toast and this is the what the casserole looked like before it went in the oven...

 the recipe from Whole Foods called for me to cut the bread in 1 inch slabs and layer them over each other. It just seemed clumsy and messy so I opted to cube the bread instead

 Fresh out of the oven

 slicing into this puppy....

This would be a phenomenal addition to a brunch. the top gets nice and crispy and on the bottom you have your apples and cranberries. I was surprised at how much we like it and hey, it was a great way to use the Panettone up!

Panettone French Toast Casserole
courtesy of Whole Foods


6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon water
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
6 (1-inch-thick) slices panettone (about 1 pound), halved
2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons butter, sugar and water until well combined. Spread mixture over the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer apples and their juices to the reserved baking dish and spread out evenly over the sugar mixture. Scatter cranberries over apples and arrange panettone over the top, overlapping the slices as needed. Set aside to let apples cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon then pour over panettone, being sure to coat all slices. Cover and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover baking dish and bake until just cooked through, puffed and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly before serving.

Just a couple notes....

I cubed the Panettone and think it works out much better, is easier to cut and serve.

I also used skim milk and didn't feel like it affected the recipe at all. We brought leftovers with us, and people who ate it, who probably don't typically drink skim milk, didn't notice the difference!


  1. Hi Holly! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing. Is it totally necessary to chill overnight before cooking? THANKS! -Amy

  2. You don't necessarily need to chill overnight..an hour or two in the fridge will do! I chill overnight just so I can prep it the night before and pop it right in the oven the next day!