October 24, 2013 by BettyCupcakes
Even after the candy has been eaten and the costumes tossed aside, you still might notice a chill in the air. That would be the souls of the dead coming back from the afterlife to visit their families.
Let’s be clear up one misconception.
Just because you’re dead does not mean you’re not hungry.
When the souls travel back from the afterlife on November 1st, they arrive ravenous and ready for the offerings lovingly prepared and presented by their families.
This Latin American and in particular, Mexican, celebration is full of symbolism and ritual. Though there are several treats that are made especially for the Day of the Dead, I was intrigued by the loaf of Pan de Muerto I spotted at Central Market in Dallas, Texas. Sweet dough covered with a skull and crossbones? That’s just too creepy not to try.
Upon opening the bag, I knew I made the right decision to buy a loaf. The rich bread is almost brioche-like: egg-y, buttery, and sweet. Pan de Muerto is traditionally flavored with anise seed and orange peel, which lend an almost floral aroma to the bread.
After savoring a few bites alone, I knew I had to do more than just dunk it in my coffee. This bread, this offering deserved to be transformed into something special.
My Bread of the Dead Pudding enhances all of the flavors inherent in the Pan de Muerto- the cranberries offset the sweetness of the orange zest and the dark brown sugar melds perfectly with the spicy anise seeds.
I can only hope that a few of my ancestors stop by for a chat and some dessert. Miss y’all.
Bread of the Dead Pudding (Pan de Muerto Bread Pudding)
- 6 cups of pan de muerto (bread of the dead), cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups 2 % milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon double-strength vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375. Generously butter an 8 x 8 square baking dish.
- In a large bowl, add the cubed pan de muerto and the dried cranberries.
- In a medium bowl, add the milk, eggs, vanilla, ground cinnamon, and dark brown sugar to make the custard mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the custard mixture over the pan de muerto and dried cranberries. Stir to thoroughly coat the bread.
- Spread the bread mixture in the square baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the bread to soak up the custard mixture.
- Bake the bread pudding for 40-45 minutes until the top is gently browned and the bread pudding doesn’t jiggle.
- Serve warm.
Want to learn more about Dia de los Muertos and Pan de Muerto? Check out these links!
What would you serve your loved ones if they stopped by for a visit?