Panettone is a yeasted sweet bread that is usually made for Christmas and New Year’s in Italy. The bread is originally Milanese in origin, but it has spread to the far corners of the world – it’s just that delicious. I try to make at least one every Christmas season, but this year I failed big time: not a single panettone was made casa Brooklyn Farmhouse. I did, however, purchase all of the candied citrus peels (orange and citron) necessary for a good panettone, not to mention beautiful panettone wrappers. The containers of candied citron and orange have been eyeballing me ever since, crying out (in a little, tiny voice) to be used. Because I couldn’t bring myself to make panettone now, with the temperature going up to almost 65 today – it would be a little like baking Christmas cookies in the middle of summer – I hit upon a solution. Panettone Ice Cream! Tastes like panettone, but it’s ice cream! This is not an April Fool’s joke.
When I bake panettone, I use an extract called Fiori di Sicilia, which is citrus-y and vanilla-y all at once, without tasting creamsicle-y. It’s really worth seeking out (you can order it online at King Arthur Flour). As a substitution, you can combine vanilla extract and orange peel. As usual, using the best quality (i.e., not factory farmed) eggs, cream, and milk is really important when you make ice cream at home. It’s a little more expensive, but then again, you won’t have to pay $3.00 – $4.00 a pint for premium ice cream!
3 tablespoons sweet marsala wine or rum
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon fiori di sicilia extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract plus 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
One three-inch length (one inch wide) piece of lemon peel, cut with a swiveling vegetable peeler
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup candied (glazed) citron peel
1/4 cup candied orange peel
Special Equipment: Ice cream maker
- In a small saucepan, combine the marsala (or rum) and the raisins. Simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the fiore di sicilia extract (or vanilla extract and orange peel), and the lemon peel. Heat over medium heat until barely simmering. Turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
- Bring the milk mixture back to a simmer over medium heat.
- Have ready a large bowl of ice water with another large bowl set atop the ice bath. Also have ready a fine-mesh strainer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Temper the egg-sugar mixture by adding a small ladleful of the hot milk mixture, whisking to combine. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, one ladleful at a time.
- Combine the milk-egg mixture with the remaining simmering milk. Heat over medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
- Immediately pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl set over the ice bath. Discard the lemon peel. Stir to cool the mixture, then cool completely.
- Stir in the heavy cream.
- Process the mixture according to the ice cream maker manufacturer’s directions. In the last 5 minutes of churning, add the raisins and any marsala (or rum) and the candied citron and orange peel.
- Freeze completely.
Makes slightly less than 1 quart.