Mexican style bread pudding, capirotada, consists of a mixture of veggies and fruits such as onions, tomatoes, apples and raisins on top of stale bread, nuts and cheeses. It is a staple during lent. The day old bread is moistened with a simple syrup infused with several warm spices. Capirotada is a balance of sweet and savory; although this recipe lends more to the sweet side. For this recipe I used apples and apricots and a bit of mild Monterrey jack cheese in order to keep it more on the sweet side (that’s how I like it) but some recipes involve sharper flavors like onions and cotija cheese. The ingredients are up to you. I am sure there is no way to ruin bread pudding!
WHAT YOU NEED:
– ¼ cup of pecans, roasted;
– ¼ cup of slivered almonds, roasted;
– 3 cloves;
-1 star anise;
-1 cinnamon stick;
-2 cups of water;
– ½ cup of brown sugar;
– ¼ cup of dried apricots, diced;
– ¼ cup of shredded Monterrey jack cheese;
-1 medium apple diced (I picked granny smith because it is the best);
-3-4 bolillos or french rolls;
WHAT YOU DO:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bolillos into ¼ inch slices and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until slices are toasted.
Meanwhile in a small saucepan place water, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and brown sugar on medium-high heat to create a syrup (you want it to be a bit runny).
Set aside. In a bowl mix the almonds, pecans, dried apricots and apples.
Take a baking dish and place a layer of toasted bread (make sure to try to fit as many slices as possible). Drizzle the syrup, making sure to cover the slices entirely. Sprinkle the nut and fruit mixture on top of the bread. Top with cheese.
Add another layer of bread, syrup, nut and fruit mixture and cheese. Continue until all is gone. Sprinkle the top with extra brown sugar and ground cinnamon if desired. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until bread is soft and apples are tender. Uncover and place under the broiler for a couple minutes until top is slightly brown.
Eat warm or at room temperature. Bask in your creation.