Teresa's StoryCapirotada is a Mexican Bread Pudding and is probably like nothing you have ever had before. Even if you have had Capirotada almost every cook makes theirs just a little different. It has an interesting combination of fruits, nuts, spices, and cheese. Cheese - yes cheese! In this dessert the one defining ingredient is the cheese! Remember, most Mexican desserts are not extremely sweet.
Capirotada is a traditional and popular Lenten dessert, but it can be served at any time, especially when you have some nice crusty bread that needs to be used.
I top mine with french vanilla ice cream. this is definitely comfort food
1 quart water
3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 whole clove
3 or 4 large piloncillos*
4 large bolillo rolls have been left out to stale, torn into 1-inch cubes**
3 bananas (sliced) or 3 cooking apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
1 cup raisins
1 cup piñons (pine nuts), shelled
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1/2 pound cubed cheese (queso añejo or monterrey jack cheese)
1* Piloncillos are cone shaped pieces of raw cane sugar. In my market they can be found in the produce section. They come in a small (about 4-ounce size) and a large (about 9 ounces). If you cannot find piloncillos, or simply prefer not to use them, 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar may be substituted.
** Most market bakeries sell bolillo rolls. They are much like a French bread (crusty on the outside and soft on the inside). French bread can also be used, or even toasted white bread if you have no choice.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a medium-size baking dish.
Boil the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and piloncillo (or brown sugar) together until a syrup forms; set aside.
In the prepared baking dish, place a layer of bolilo (or bread cubes). Cover with a layer of the banana or apple slices. Sprinkle some of the raisins, piñons, almonds, and cheese cubes over the top. Repeat layers until all the ingredients (except the syrup) are used.
Remove the cinnamon sticks and clove from your syrup and pour the syrup over the top of the layers you have made. Bake for about 30 minutes; remove from oven.
Cool slightly, then spoon onto plates and serve warm. Some people also like it cold.