Panettone Valdostano

Panettone from Aosta

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    10

    servings
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Great Italian Desserts

By Nick Malgieri

Published 1990

  • About

Although this is similar to Panettone Milanese, it is an interesting variation. Augusto Boch of the Pasticceria Boch in Aosta, in northwestern Italy, near the French border, makes this for the French tourists who visit Aosta to take home with them. To satisfy French tastes, he substitutes raisins for the candied fruit and covers the panettone before baking with an almond-and-sugar glaze, more almonds, and confectioners’ sugar, which gives the baked pastry a crunchy top. This panettone has a more practical shape, also, since it is baked in a deep layer pan and so is easier to cut into slices or wedges.

Ingredients

Sponge

  • cup milk
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast or ounce compressed yeast
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

    Dough

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cup dark raisins
  • cup golden raisins

    Icing

  • ¼ cup whole, blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup blanched, sliced almonds or whole, blanched almonds, coarsely chopped

Method

For the sponge, heat the milk to lukewarm, whisk in the yeast, and stir the yeast mixture into the flour. Cover and allow to ferment at room temperature for about 45 minutes, until almost tripled in volume.

For the dough, beat the butter with the salt and sugar until light, either by hand, with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle. Add the vanilla and beat smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, alternately with the flour, ending with the flour. Beat in the sponge and then beat the dough until smooth.

Mix in the raisins until just incorporated. Place the dough in a buttered bowl and allow to ferment until double, about 2 hours.

Deflate the dough by folding it over on itself several times and then form into a ball. Place in a buttered 9-inch springform pan, pressing lightly so that the dough reaches the sides of the pan. Cover with a towel and allow to proof until risen to the top of the pan, about 2 hours.

While the dough is proofing, prepare the icing. Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until finely ground. Place in a bowl and stir in the cornstarch and egg white.

When the panettone is risen, carefully spread the icing on top, strew with the sliced almonds, and dust generously with the confectioners’ sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes. Release the sides of the springform pan and slide the panettone off the pan bottom to a rack to cool. Do not invert to unmold or the topping will fall off.

Wrap the cooled panettone in plastic and store at room temperature up to 3 days. If you refrigerate the panettone, the icing will become sticky.

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing