The Best Budin de Guayaba or Guava Bread Pudding
- January 2023
- By Aida Diaz
- Recipe from Puerto Rico
This budin de guayaba or bread pudding with guava slices has been a family-famous dessert in the home of Aida Diaz, 87, for decades. The retired Puerto Rican interior designer, mom and grandmother made this dulce treat so often and to such acclaim, she has the recipe memorized.
Aida was born in Trujillo Alto in northwest Puerto Rico and married an Army official. Which means their family moved a lot — ”23 times in 20 years!” she says. Not a bad thing for a decoradora who enjoys setting up new homes. ”There were a lot of sofas!” she laughs. But no matter how many times Aida and her Puerto Rican husband were relocated, she says, they kept their island close by flying home with the kids to visit family every December for the holidays. And she made sure to cook Boricua recipes like this delicioso bread pudding with guayaba paste, a pantry staple in most Puerto Rican cocinas.
”My whole family loves this postre,” says Aida. ”Every time I made it, I kept improvising the ingredients, until I got it just right.” She started with the classic receta for Puerto Rican budín de pan: bread, milk, evaporated and/or condensed milk, sugar and vanilla. One day, taking a cue from another favorite postre, flan, Aida experimented with adding caramelized sugar plus guava paste to the top and then baking it in a water bath or baño de Maria.
The budin-flan mashup was so spectacular, Aida never looked back.
The other defining ingredient is slightly stale bread, says Aida. Make sure the baguette you use is several days old, so that it really soaks in the two kinds of milk — 2% and evaporated — when your pour it over the stiff bread chunks. ”It’s a great way to use old bread you can’t eat anymore.”
This budin de guayaba is the ideal nibble with a mid-afternoon cafecito, she says. The caramelized sugar and melted guava swirl together, adding just the right toque de dulce to play off the creamy-tanginess of the bread pudding. It’s a memorably delicioso combination.
Aida closes her eyes and recites the recipe she knows by heart. Here it is.
Got a question or suggestion?
Please rate this recipe and leave any tips, substitutions, or questions you have!