Mexican Syrup-Coated Bread Pudding (Capirotada)
Recipes Courtesy: Susanna Palazuelos
Every region of Mexico has its own version of this traditional Lenten dessert. This northern recipe is unusual in that it includes layers of cheese. Capirotada is hearty and nourishing enough to be served as a late supper.
20 – 25 slices bolillo (hard bread roll) or baguette, 1-2 days old
2/3 cup (5 oz/155 g) butter
10 corn tortillas, toasted (optional)
2 cups (8 oz/250 g) grated queso anejo or queso Chihuahua (or Monterrey Jack or medium-sharp cheddar cheese)
1 ¼ cups (6 oz/185 g) raisins
1 ½ cups (6 oz/185 g) chopped walnuts or peanuts
1 cone (5-6 oz/150 – 180 g) piloncillo (raw sugar)
3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml) water
1 stick cinnamon
3 whole cloves
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) milk
- To make the syrup, mix the sugar, water, cinnamon stick and cloves in a saucepan and boil, stirring until the mixture forms light syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk.
- Toast the bread until lightly browned. Spread the butter on the bread.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Cover the sides and bottom of a cazuela or casserole with the tortillas. Dip each piece of bread into the syrup and arrange a layer of bread in the bottom of the cazuela. Sprinkle with part of the cheese, raisins and nuts. Continue making layers of bread, cheese, raisins and nuts until all the ingredients have been used.
- cazuela with foil and bake the pudding for 20 minutes, uncovering periodically and smoothing the surface of the pudding with a wooden spoon. Lower the oven temperature to 300° F (150° C) and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve lukewarm.
- Variation: Cover the pudding with meringue and bake in a 500° F (260° C) oven for 5 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.