I cannot think of a more delicious way to finish a holiday meal than with a nice helping of budín de pan (bread pudding). A little whipped cream or dulce de leche on top would be well, over the top!
Budín de pan (bread pudding) is prepared with the simplest of ingredients. It's bread, milk, eggs and sugar basically. Then we add our special touch, such as rompope (spiked eggnog), rum soaked raisins and sweet cherries. I cannot think of a better way to finish this budín de pan for a special holiday dessert. The consistency is much like a custard when baked in a water bath. Most people find it hard to believe that the main ingredient is bread. Unpack that special holiday plate carefully stored in your hutch and serve this delicious recipe for bread pudding at your next holiday gathering.
In a small bowl, combine the raisins, dried cranberries and rum. Stir well and let sit while you prep.
In a large bowl, add the bread, rompope, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix in the raisins/cranberries in rum. Set aside for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, using a spatula or potato masher, mash the bread soaking in the milk until there are no large pieces left. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prep a large baking dish for a water bath. In a pan or tea kettle, heat 5 cups of water to medium.
In a skillet at medium heat, add 1 cup of granulated sugar. After 1 minute, using a wooden spoon, stir constantly. The sugar will begin to melt and caramelize. After another minute it is a light amber color; quickly pour into the bottom of the 8x8 baking dish. Pick up the dish and rotate around so caramel covers entire bottom of pan. Pour in the budin custard and place into the larger baking dish. Pour warm water into the bottom larger baking dish until it comes up ¾ of the way.
Carefully transfer to the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 45 minutes or until the budin does not jiggle anymore when gently shaken. Remove form oven. After a few minutes, remove from water bath onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Using a small, sharp knife, loosen the edges of the budín. Place a large plate or platter on top and carefully hold and flip it over. Let it sit for a minute or two to loosen and release. Carefully pull the baking dish off.
Place a few maraschino cherries on top to garnish. Drizzle with some of the cherry syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Put a coconut spin on your budín the pan by adding coconut milk instead of rompope. Mix in some toasted coconut before baking. Top with caramelized pineapple slices.