Pudim de Pão

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on May 27, 2013

Pudim de PaoEveryone loves a great bread pudding, but I bet you’ve never had a bread pudding quite like this one before. This delicious bread pudding has a lighter and more uniform texture than the traditional bread puddings, and once you taste it, you’ll agree that it’s more like a cross between a bread pudding and a flan. Strangely enough, it is even reminiscent of the decadent tres leche cake.

This lovely little dessert is a Brazilian delicacy called pudim de pão (pronounced pudeem de po) and is usually found as a vanilla flavored pudding with or without raisins, just like the traditional versions of bread pudding found here in the States. The only real difference is how they put it together.

Unlike a really rich bread pudding that is made with croissant or danish dough leftovers, this Portugese pudding is only made with baguette style crusty rolls. They cut the stale rolls into small pieces and then finely grind them  into fresh bread crumbs in a food processor, crust and all. For my version, I bought a good quality loaf of crusty white bread that I found in the day old bakery section of the grocery store. I chose to cut off the crust so that the interior of the custard remained a nice cream color.  You don’t have to do that, but because I have never made this before, I did not know if the crusts would change the color of the custard significantly.

I decided to use a basic custard recipe that I have been using for years to make my bread pudding. I know that it’s delicious and it works, so I decided to stick with that instead of trying some of the recipes offered online. The only thing I really needed to figure out was how much of the fresh bread crumbs I needed to use. Most of the time I end up just eye balling what I need based on how much bread I have leftover, but this recipe had to be a little more precise.

The other unique point about this dessert is that it is made with a caramel, the same way you would make a crème caramel, so you need to make that first before putting the custard base together.

Another thing to remember is that bread puddings are custard-based desserts, and it is best to cook them in a water bath. The added moisture helps the custard cook evenly and prevents it from drying out. It is not something that everyone does when making bread pudding, but it is an important step. This dessert is definitely cooked in a water bath…

The recipe may sound a little fiddly but it’s not difficult to make. It is well worth the effort to experience something that is familiar, yet still very different than the norm. Whether you choose to use your favorite bread pudding recipe or mine, this makes a delicious, cool and comforting summer dessert.

Try a different flavor combination of your choice and come up with something that is uniquely yours or stick with the traditional recipe and serve it as is. You can even make it even more decadent with some freshly whipped cream and assorted fresh fruits or fruit compotes. Either way, when you have a slice of this on your plate, it’s a  happy day.

Pudim de Pão
4 eggs
2 yolks
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons good quality vanilla
1½ cups milk
1½ cups heavy cream
3 cups day old bread, finely ground (I removed crusts)
1 recipe caramel

Before you begin making the custard, you must first make the caramel. Follow the recipe link above, and make sure to make the extra caramel sauce for this dessert too. Once you have made the caramel, pour it into the (ungreased) bundt pan and swirl it around the sides as much as you can. Be careful because the sugar is very hot. Next, spray the pan in the areas that do not have the caramel so that the custard does not stick. Next, make the custard.

Add the caramel to the bundt pan first, and then use pan spray

Place the day old bread pieces into the food processor and process them until you have fresh bread crumbs. Add the sugar eggs, yolks,  cream, milk and vanilla and mix all well together. Pour this into the bread crumbs that are still in the food processor through the spout. Combine everything well until you end up with a thick cream with no lumps. Pour this into the prepared pan with the caramel.

Pour this mixture into the bundt pan with the caramel

Bake this uncovered in a water bath for 45 minutes at 350°F until it’s golden brown and has set completely to the touch. Remove this from the oven and remove it from the water bath and allow the custard to come to room temperature. Once it has cooled off, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. When ready to serve, invert onto a platter, cut slices and serve chilled with extra caramel sauce.

Pour custard into baking dish and set into another pan with water creating a water bath

Bake Pudim de Pao until golden brown and set to the touch

 

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