Psssst….got leftover bread and you just don’t wanna throw it out but don’t know what to do with it? PERFECT! You’ve come to the right place. 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, Budin 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 sobaó) 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, “…adios que to 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 an American trying to speak Spanish would 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) 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 to create a Bain-marie (Baño de Maria).
RAISINS: I know several of you will have issues with this ingredient because raisins are, I think, a personal opinion – 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………. 😉
Now for those of you who know me personally and/or on the off-chance, knew my grandmother, Doña Bibi, you’ll see or taste this recipe and say, “this does NOT taste like Doña Bibi’s bread pudding!”, and you may even get indignant – well guess what? You’ll be absolutely right. That recipe will NEVER be shared here or anywhere else! It is a FAMILY recipe that I will safely guard and keep within those in my family, thank you, and sorry for you that you never had and will never have the blessing of tasting that bread pudding, but hey, this is and comes close to being second best! 🙂
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.
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 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
- ½ 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)
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
- ¼ cup of salted butter (1/2 stick), melted (if you use unsalted butter you will have to add ⅛ tsp of salt to the batter)
- ¼ cup Golden Raisins
- 4 tbsps. Rum (I used Bacardi, of course)
- 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 9x9 pan making sure to cover bottom completely (work quickly before the caramel hardens).
- 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 9x9 pan into a slightly bigger one and place hot water up to 2 inches of the 9x9 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).