A Puerto Rican Holiday Bread Pudding You Can Make with Your Kids
November 29, 2023
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Every family and region has their own cherished holiday traditions that can bring a family together over good food. In Puerto Rico, budín de pan or bread pudding is typically served during Nochebuena or Christmas Eve. This recipe from PBS KIDS' Jessica Martinez is adapted from her grandmother, who took out the traditional raisins in favor of making the budín like a pineapple upside-down cake. There are plenty of ways in which you can involve your own children in making this simple holiday dessert.
Budín de Pan
Nochebuena, or “Good Night,” takes place on Christmas Eve. In Hispanic households across the globe, Nochebuena is the biggest holiday feast of the year. Budín de pan is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday dessert and is often enjoyed as part of the Nochebuena feast.
This budín de pan recipe has been adapted from the personal recipe of Luz Maria Martinez, the grandmother of PBS KIDS' Jessica Martinez. Budín de pan is typically made with raisins, or added sugar, and sometimes butter — the variations are endless! But Luz Maria always made hers with pineapples and maraschino cherries, which made for a beautifully festive family tradition.
12 ounce can evaporated milk
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can pineapple rings in pineapple juice
1 pound white bread, left loosely covered on a counter overnight to become stale
1/4 cup maple syrup
5 maraschino cherries
1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milks, vanilla, spices, salt, and the juice from the can of pineapple rings. Set aside 5 pineapple rings from the can, then chop up the remaining pineapple rings and add to the mixture in the bowl. Set aside.
2. Time to rip up some bread! This part is especially fun for little hands. Together, break up the bread into bite-sized pieces. They don’t have to be perfect! As you tear, talk about how fun it is that stale bread can be transformed into something new and yummy!
3. Add the bread pieces to the milk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the pieces until all of the bread is soaked in the mixture. Let the bread soak in the mixture for about 10 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle the maple syrup inside a large Bundt pan, coating the sides and bottom as best as you can. Next, place each of the set-aside pineapple rings along the bottom of the pan. Drop one maraschino cherry in the center of each ring.
5. Pour the soaked bread pieces into the prepared Bundt pan, then bake for about an hour. Ask your child what they think the pudding might look like once it’s baked and flipped over.
6. Check for doneness by sticking a knife through the budín to the bottom. If the knife comes out clean (and the budín isn’t jiggling and seems firm), remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
7. Carefully flip the budín out of the Bundt pan. (You may need to run a knife or spatula along the sides to loosen before flipping.) Ask your child if the budín looks how they imagined it would, or if it surprises them. Enjoy budín warm with friends and family, and maybe with a little vanilla ice cream, too!