I have recently discovered that I love bread pudding very much. Of course, I made this discovery at Disney after drinking way too much banana bread pudding at the Tusker House character breakfast… and too many pots of English bread pudding at Earl of Sandwich… and staying at the Polynesian and smelling the amazing bread pudding every day for a week…
Anyway, when I got back, I had a serious craving for bread pudding. When I came across the pina colada bread pudding recipe, combining my love of coconuts and pineapples, along with a bit of alcohol, I made creating this recipe a priority. Seriously, what doesn’t sound amazing about pina colada anything, much less pina colada bread pudding? My mouth is watering just typing this…
I made this recipe exactly as written, to the letter, even the custard sauce (which, as anybody who reads this blog can tell you is something that constantly gives me.
Trouble). I love that this is one of those recipes that I just adored making, from start to finish. I loved the smell in the kitchen, I loved working with all the ingredients, I loved how it all came together, I loved sneaking bites of it before it was cooked all the way, and I love, love, loved the result. This tasted exactly like I hoped it would, sweet and coconutty, soft with a little crunch… Just perfect. I used canned pineapple instead of fresh, but that’s directly tied to the fact that I hate cutting a pineapple. I just made sure to use crushed pineapple, and I drained it really, really well. I wondered while I was making it if I should add shredded coconut to the mixture for an extra bump of coconut, but I’m glad I didn’t. Bread pudding is so much about texture and consistency that I think the coconut would have been a bit much, though adding a splash of coconut or rum extract (or both) would be a great way to bump up those flavors if one wanted something more pronounced.
It kept in the fridge really well, even reheated beautifully. I actually wish I had thought to freeze some (as opposed to eating the whole dish in a few days… No, I’m not proud of it, but I did it) because I bet it would have done well in the freezer as well. I’ve heard of people making the whole dish the night before a big breakfast and then just baking it the next morning, which I think is absolutely brilliant. I can only imagine how awesome it would taste with an entire night marinating and soaking up all those juices. Yes, as per usual, the custard sauce defeated me a bit… It was runnier than it should have been by a lot. But despite not looking like it should have, it still tasted phenomenal. I also may have over-browned (aka burned) some of the bread when I had it in the broiler, but since you can’t see it in the pictures, I admit to nothing.
- 10 slices white bread
- 1/2 cup pineapple, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs, well beaten
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut rum
Vanilla Rum Sauce
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of milk, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut rum
To make the bread pudding
- Preheat broiler and remove crust from the bread and cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread on a cookie sheet and broil until golden brown. Remove from broiler and then lower temperature to 350. Combine bread cubes and pineapple in a large bowl, mixing well. Spread into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan and drizzle with melted butter.
- Warm milk in a saucepan over medium heat, being sure to not boil. Whisk in eggs, heavy cream, sugar, coconut milk, and rum. Remove from heat. Pour the custard over the bread mixture. Using a fork or spatula, press the bread into the liquid until well soaked and/or allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until pudding springs back in the center when pressed with a fingertip, but is still moist.
- Serve immediately with vanilla rum sauce.
To make vanilla rum sauce:
- Place a large bowl in an ice bath and set aside. Combine egg yolks, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a separate small bowl, stirring until smooth.
- Combine 1 cup milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk the yolk mixture into the boiling milk. Immediately pour the sauce from the pan into a bowl sitting in the ice bath to prevent curdling. Add rum and whisk thoroughly. Serve warm over the bread pudding.