Let’s pretend this is my last cherry recipe of the year.
Right now I’m thinking it is, but really I make no promises. I just think it’d be good to go out on a good note with cherry recipes. Or in the case of this one, a fantastic recipe! I mean tres leches + bread pudding?! Yes. It’s happening. It happened. It was awesome.
Oh, by the way, I made it to Florida! After dozens and dozens of flights back and forth from Seattle to Florida, I had my first ever straight through flight, yesterday. It was crazy long. It was nice not having to change planes and go through all the crap with layovers and whatnot, but sitting for 5 and 1/2 hours is no fun. It’s a trade off, I guess!
So anyway, I finally got home last night around 6:30ish. I was starving. I go to the fridge, open it up, what’s staring me in the face? A bowl of beautiful, red Bing cherries. I can’t escape them!
I actually used Rainier cherries in this bread pudding, but you can use any type you want. Heck, this would even be good with dried cherries!
I also used a loaf of my favorite homemade white bread (it’s great because the recipe makes two loaves—one for sandwiches, and one for this!), but feel free to sub in a store-bought loaf if you don’t want to go through the effort (but it’s worth it!).
I can be quite picky about bread pudding. I don’t like the kind that super mushy. I like a crisp crunchy top, and a moist, custardy base. I would say this one is almost like French toast in texture. Actually, my first idea was a tres leches French toast, and it morphed into bread pudding. That’s how my recipe creative process works. Well, usually, the starting idea and the end result have almost nothing to do with one another, so this one was relatively unchanged in comparison.
My brain is in such ramble mode right now, so I totally apologize. I blame it on lack of sleep. Let’s get on track and talk about the dish at hand!
The typical tres leches mixture (sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream) is mixed with an egg and some yolks, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. It’s a pretty simple combination that is poured over some bread cubes and Rainier cherries and then baked. I bake it for the first half covered in tin foil to keep in moisture, and take it off for the second half to crisp up the top.
After the bread pudding is baked, I like to chill it in the fridge before slicing it and reheating individual pieces in the oven. Yes this sounds weird, and you definitely don’t have to do it, but I think it makes for cleaner slices.
I serve it with a huge scoop of melty vanilla ice cream. Pure indulgent comfort 🙂