So you have leftover bread and you just don’t wanna throw it out. But what to do with it? NO PROBLEM! I’m going to show you the quick and easy way to turn that leftover bread into the most delicious dessert EVER! You’re gonna be making my all time favorite, Tres Leches Bread Pudding or as we say in Spanish, Budín de Pan con Tres Leches.
You can use any leftover bread you’ve got, however, for this recipe I used some leftover Puerto Rican bread (pan sobao) that I had. The first thing you want to do is to break up that bread into fine 1-inch cube pieces into a mixing bowl (throw it all in, crust and all) and put this to the side.
Next up is to brown the sugar (caramelize). Now fair warning, this CAN be a bit tricky so when you do this make sure that you are dedicating the time to this and ONLY this, cause if you mess this up, “…adiós que te vaya bien – Belen…” Sorry I won’t be able to help ya – you’ll just have to start all over again and that’s just no bueno (as a non-Spanish speaker might say). As a visual, this is what it should look like when it’s ready:
See the beautiful amber color? That’s exactly what you want! Remove from the heat and immediately (have your prepared pan ready – for this recipe I used a 9×9 baking pan) and pour it into the pan the custard will be going into.
The custard has a lot of ingredients but don’t panic because this all comes together really quickly so don’t get sccc-aaa-rrred. I use a trio of milks for this bread pudding, hence the title of this recipe tres leches.
Now before anyone gets bent out of shape because I’ve used as a title Tres Leches and you don’t see the common milk included in it (heavy cream), let me explain. I’ve used that in the title because it DOES include three milks, I use evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. Used together they make a musical medley and turn this bad boy, sorry, bread pudding into the deliciousness that you will forever remember. This custard once mixed in with all the rest of the ingredients will be put into a bigger pan to which hot water will be added, creating a water bath, or baño de María.
RAISINS: I know several of you will have issues with this ingredient because raisins are, I think, a personal option – you either like them or you don’t. I don’t, but I know that they add a certain Je ne sais quoi (how do you like that French huh? I guess I was paying attention in French classes) to certain desserts so I tend to use the golden ones as they are prettier than the black ones and less obvious. These are first soaked for at least 30 minutes (but you can soak them longer if you wish) in rum. Yup, you heard right, RUM. It’s just another added ingredient that will have people wondering, “WHAT THE HECK DID SHE PUT IN THIS?”
Yeah, that’s the way I roll………. 😉
So sit back and enjoy the tres leches bread pudding sensation. Who knows, you may keep it as a family recipe and years from now (as happens with everything else) claim it to be your own.
Tres Leches Bread Pudding
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
BREAD PUDDING BATTER:
- 1 loaf of bread (use any type, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Portuguese, French, etc.), finely chopped
- 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 oz.) coconut milk
- 1/2 cup regular milk or 2%, (if needed)
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 cup of salted butter (1/2 stick), melted (if you use unsalted butter you will have to add 1/8 tsp of salt to the batter)
TO SOAK RAISINS:
- 1/4 cup Golden Raisins
- 4 tbsps. rum (I used Bacardi, of course)
Prepare a 9×9 pan by coating with butter or non stick spray on the sides of the pan only. Preheat oven to 350°
TO PREPARE CARAMEL:
Over medium heat, place 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan. With a silicone stirrer begin to stir when you see that the sugar begins to melt. Continue observing and stirring quickly until you see that the sugar turns into an amber color. Remove from heat and quickly pour into the prepared 9×9 pan making sure to cover bottom completely (work quickly before the caramel hardens).
TO PREPARE BATTER:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine together all of the batter ingredients. Make sure that you let this mixture sit for at least 15 minutes so that the bread can soak up all of the wet ingredients.
- After 15 minutes of letting this mixture soak, I like to go in with my clean hands and break up any remaining pieces of bread that did not break up (the batter should look like a lumpy, loose batter. Not too wet and not too dry). You may also use an immersion blender to smoothen out the batter completely. Both ways will work and will depend on the texture that you want to obtain.
- Pour in the raisins AND the rum and combine once again.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan with the caramelized sugar. Place the 9×9 pan into a slightly bigger one and place hot water up to 2 inches of the 9×9 and place both pans in oven.
- Bake until batter is not jiggling anymore or a toothpick dipped in center of batter comes out somewhat clean (about 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on your oven’s temperature).
Please note that your oven temperature may not be as mine and you will possibly need more or less time for this bread pudding to cook. Check after an hour has passed for the tell tale signs that it is done: batter is not jiggly and/or an inserted toothpick or other device used comes out clean.