Last Thanksgiving, I surprised Brian by ordering a Pandoro pan. Pandoro is an Italian Christmas bread and is a staple among Italians during the holidays. Since going on his mission to Italy, he longed for the treat every Christmas. Some years we dropped the $20 it cost to purchase one here, in the middle of the country. We couldn't justify it most years. Last year, I decided to invest the $25 it cost to buy the pan and learn how to make it myself. I'm still trying to perfect the bread, I'm not Italian after all. It still tastes great, even if it's not perfect. The problem came when we had lots of loaves of pandoro to eat as I was perfecting the recipe. Now, that's not a problem in and of itself, since it's seriously tasty, but we started wanting some variety. We often used Nutella, which makes a seriously tasty treat, but we wanted more! I started out on a quest looking for a good, light, creamy filling for the bread. I took some ideas from here and there and came up with this recipe. I find the vanilla and lemon are great echos for the pandoro flavors, but it's great on so many other things. Today, we're having it with homemade cream puffs and fresh blueberries!
1 1/2 c (or 3 sticks) butter
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 tbsp vanilla (Good vanilla makes all the difference in cooking. Please use it!)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
Place all ingredients in your mixer. Start slow, since the milk will slosh around. Once it starts to incorporate, kick up the speed and beat until fluffy and creamy. This will take awhile, maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Don't be discouraged early on - it will look lumpy and weird and not tasty at all. Stick to it, keep beating and your patience will be rewarded with light, dreamy, perfectly flavored cream.