Fresh pineapple, pecans and a personal favorite, dulce de leche. Separately all tasty, but the three together yield this delicious bread pudding that can be enjoyed year round.
When I hear the words bread pudding, I always associate it with my grandmother or special family gatherings. For a little while now, I have been attending a community lunch once a week. Different people, mostly women, who are volunteers for various community projects come together to share a pot luck-style meal and discuss community news. In a sense, it's a special family gathering in my eyes. Every week I donate a dish to pass around. And as you probably have guessed, they always seem to have those Hispanic flavors I enjoy.
It's a great way for me to introduce them to flavors and dishes they most likely would never have the chance to try. This pineapple pecan bread pudding is based on a recipe from my friend Mary, who is in charge of these lunches. I love everything pineapple, especially when it comes to desserts. Mary was nice enough to share her recipe with me. With a few additions, substitutions and my favorite dulce de leche, I surprised them with my twist on the recipe.
Place the cubed bread pieces on a baking sheet. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden, in a preheated 400 °F oven. Remove from oven and let cool. Grease or butter a large baking dish. Layer the bread evenly onto the dish and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the dulce de leche and butter until smooth. Stir in the pineapple, lemon juice, 1/2 cup pecans, and salt.
If adding the “craisins,” you could add half now and reserve the other half to sprinkle on top. Stir well to combine. Mix in the eggs until well combined. Pour mixture over bread until well covered.
Sprinkle with remaining pecans and bake in a preheated 350 °F oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until middle is fairly firm. Yields 8 to 10 servings. Serve as-is or top with vanilla ice cream.
This recipe originally called for granulated sugar instead of the dulce de leche. I've substituted the dulce de leche for sugar in various dessert recipes and have been happy with the results!