Coconut Bread Pudding
Budín de Pan y Coco
- 6 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the pan
- 14 ounces bread (i.e. brioche, challah, or cakey white sandwich bread), crusts trimmed off if you wish, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican or dark rum or Xtabentún
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (regular, not “lite”)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup chopped papaya
- 1 cup crema
- Turn on the oven to 400 degrees.
- Scoop the butter into a large, microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute.
- Scoop the bread into the bowl and stir slowly until it is evenly coated.
- Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet, slide it into the oven and toast, stirring every 5 minutes, until it is richly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the bread and turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and scoop the bread into it.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- In a small (1- to 2-quart) saucepan, heat the coconut milk and the granulated sugar over medium-low, stirring until the mixture is just warm (not close to boiling) and the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the warm coconut milk into the eggs in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until well combined.
- Pour the custard over the bread.
- Let the bread soak up the custard for 15 minutes, gently stirring the mixture every few minutes.
- Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake until the bread pudding is barely set at the center, about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into pieces, place them on small plates and you’re ready to delight a few friends.
Variations: Garnish the finished bread pudding with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil and 1 cup chopped papaya. Serve with crema.