Go out and buy a lovely fruity panettone and prepare this the night before, for a Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast. All you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven and you will think you’ve died and gone to Italian heaven!

Makes 6 servings

1 tbsp butter, preferably unsalted
8 oz fresh whole-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier ( or a litte more!)
Six 1/2 inch thick slices of panettone
One 11 oz can of mandarin oranges, drained
6 extra large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Orange marmalade or maple syrup to serve

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Generously grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish with all the butter

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the ricotta cheese, sugar, cream and Cointreau together until the mixture is very dense and smooth

Arrange 3 panettone slices over the bottom of the greased baking dish, covering it completely.
Cover the panettone slices with the ricotta mixture and then arrange the mandarin oranges slices over the ricotta mixture. Cover with the remaining 3 slices of panettone.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and cinnamon until well blended. Pour this mixture over the panettone in the baking dish.

*At this point the dish can be covered with plastic wrap and put in the fridge over night until you’re ready to bake it.

Bake the casserole until dark golden brown on top, about 30 mins or so.

* If you have refrigerated it overnight, remove the dish from the fridge, uncover it and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking it.

Serve with the orange marmalade or maple syrup or both!

This one was done in a round baking dish