Panettone cream with grapefruit sorbet, as reproduced in Bread is Gold

A great new use for old Panettone from Bread is Gold

Want to know what to do with that one you didn't manage to finish? Massimo Bottura has a wonderful recipe

Slices of stale panettone are a common sight at the time of year. Which is why, if you didn't buy it before Christmas, you'll want to hurry into the store and buy a copy of Bread is Gold, Massimo Bottura's new book which tells you how to make anything from food that's past it's sell by date.

As Massimo explains in Bread is Gold, "panettone is a classic Italian Christmas bread prepared with a fluffy yellow dough and candied fruit. Its flavour is infused into Italian culture from north to south and signifies the onset of the holidays." 

But leftover panettone was a slightly rarer find in the autumn of 2015, when the acclaimed Neapolitan chef Gennaro Esposito came to cook at Massimo's Refettorio Ambrosiano. 


Gennaro Esposito at work at the Refettorio Ambrosiano, as reproduced in Bread is Gold
Gennaro Esposito at work at the Refettorio Ambrosiano, as reproduced in Bread is Gold

The Refettorio takes unwanted foodstuff from suppliers in and around Milan, and, with the help of Bottura and his famous chef friends, turns it all into fresh, heathy meals for those in need.

Esposito is more used to pairing fresh shellfish with pasta, yet on the day he arrived at the Refettorio, he was presented with palettes of unwanted grapefruit as well as boxes of the Christmas bread. Undeterred, he mixed the panettone with cream, egg yolks, sugar and corn starch, to create a beautiful creamy accompaniment to his grapefruit sorbet.


Bread is Gold
Bread is Gold

"October is neither panettone nor grapefruit season and how these ingredients ended up in the pantry was a mystery to all of us," recalls Massimo. "Nonetheless, this out-of-season dessert brought a magical sense of Christmas come early that illuminated the room."

See if you can't work the same magic, this January and start the year as you mean to go on. For more on turning ordinary ingredients into extraordinary dishes, order a copy of Bread is Gold here.