The Spanish eat lots of French-style bread with their meals, buying it daily at the neighborhood panaderías or bakeries. As the days pass, small pieces of stale bread collect at home. Since the bread generally has no preservatives in it, it gets hard the next day. Nobody likes to eat hard bread, and up until recently, every scrap of food was used. Consequently, the Spanish have many traditional recipes to utilize the leftover bread, like torrijas and this postreis a tasty one!
Bread crumbs, milk, sugar and eggs are the basic ingredients of this pudding, with caramel sauce and raisins on top. It is very simple to make, and requires ingredients you probably already have on hand. It is a good make-ahead dessert, and is easily transported when left in the loaf pan.
Prepare the pudding mixture and bake in a water bath for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then turn out onto a serving platter. Serve with a sweet Spanish dessert wine.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: 6 Servings
- 1 cup or .25 lb raisins
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk
- 2/3 cup (132 gr) granulated sugar for pudding
- peel of 1 lemon
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 cup (100 gr) breadcrumbs
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup (150 gr) granulated sugar for caramel sauce
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- Optional: 1/2 cup (50 gr) pine nuts for decoration
First, rehydrate the raisins by soaking the raisins in a large measuring cup or bowl of warm water for one hour. While raisins are soaking, prepare the pudding.
Peel the lemon. Mix milk, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon stick and lemon peel in a medium sauce pan. Bring the milk to a boil and remove from heat. Take out the lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Put breadcrumbs into a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, and pour milk mixture into it, mixing thoroughly. Set aside and allow to cool 20-30 minutes or so while preparation continues. This will allow the bread crumbs to fully absorb the milk.
Make the caramel sauce. Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar into a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high. With a wooden spoon, keep sugar moving in pan until sugar is completely melted. It will turn a rich medium brown color (caramelized). Quickly drizzle into the bottom of a rectangular pan, such as a loaf pan (approximately 9-inch by 5-inch). Sugar will cool and harden within a minute. Grease the sides of the pan by spreading a couple tablespoons of vegetable shortening with a paper towel.
Drain the raisins of all water by placing in a strainer.
Heat approximately 4 cups of water in a sauce pan for the water bath. Heat the oven to 335F (169C) degrees.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites, placing in separate mixing bowls. Beat the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Stir in the egg yolks to the cooled milk-bread mixture. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites until mixed well.
Spread the raisins evenly over the bottom of the loaf pan. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Make the water bath or baño maría. Place pan into a large open baking dish and pour the warm water to a depth of about 2-2.5 inches. The loaf pan should sit in water to the depth of the pudding mixture. Bake in water bath in oven for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly. Run a knife around the outside of pan, then turn out onto a serving plate and decorate with pine nuts just before serving.