Irela Girigori-Panneflek writes: “I’d like to contribute by adding the ‘boyo or bolo di pan’ (Curaçao’s version of bread pudding), a delicious treat form the Curaçao kitchen. Made with bread, milk, eggs, raisins or small chopped prunes and sometimes with crystallized fruits, but I prefer it without the fruit. It’s sold at many bakeries on the island, but Panaderia Victoria in Buena Vista makes my favorite boyo di pan!”
A quick Google search for the word ‘boyo’ and you’ll stumble upon Gil Marks’ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, “Sephardim generally made bread – for much of history an arduous, time-consuming process – only twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. After a few days, the bread would become stale and innovative cooks would seek new ways to utilize it as nothing was wasted. A favorite of these methods was to soak dry bread in water or milk (…) bollos de pan or boyo.” Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Irela included the Boyo di Pan recipe from Recipes from the Jewish Kitchens of Curaçao, compiled by the Sisterhood of Mikvé Israel – Emanuel (2006).
1 loaf (mature) white bread (20 slices)
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (or margarine), melted
1/2 cup raisins (or cut up prunes) (optional: soak in liqueur for 1 day)
1/4 cup crystallized chopped fruit (or can fruit cocktail)
4 tablespoons orange marmalade (optional)
Soak bread in milk and mash with fork. Add the remaining ingredients then mix well with wooden spoon.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until firm and nice in color in either a buttered form or two 8″ pans. Remove cake from the oven and let cool completely in pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.