We are almost three weeks into the lent period now, and I was in the mood for this Mexican and very traditional of lent, bread pudding called Capirotada.
Lent is a forty day season, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, it represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. It is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter.
This delicious sweet treat is very popular during this period, you can find it in almost every store in some parts of Mexico. There are a few versions of it, depending on the region, but the one I am more familiar with is the one made with Piloncillo syrup.
More traditional recipes call for bolillo or birote which is a Mexican type of bread, it can substituted for baguette or a normal loaf of bread, it has to be toasted though. I bought a package of toast which is more practical.
I must be honest and tell you that this is actually the first time I make this recipe, I new all the ingredients I needed, I just wasn’t sure of the recipe to make the syrup and honestly, it can seem intimidating or complicated, so I called my mom and asked, she told me how it was done and I also found several recipes online. So, really, it is not as complicated as you’d think, and it is really good, you can enjoy warm or cold, either way, with an ice cold glass of milk!
for the syrup:
- 4 Cups Water
- 500 Grams of Piloncillo
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 8 Whole pieces of clove
- A pinch of salt
for the pudding:
- 3 to 5 one day old tortillas (just enough to cover the bottom of the tray)
- 1 package Toasted bread
- 2 medium Bananas (sliced)
- 1/2 Raisins
- 1/2 Nuts / peanuts / walnuts / sliced almonds (your choice)
- 1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese (diced)
- In a medium saucepan, put the together the water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks, clove and the salt, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it looks like a syrup. then remove from heat, cover with the lid and let cool for an hour.
- preheat the oven to 350º F.
- While you wait for the syrup to cool, you can slice the bananas, dice the cheese and cut the bread into triangles, or smaller squares, it will depend on the shape of your tray to try to accommodate the pieces best.
- Pour the syrup through a strainer to remove the cloves and the cinnamon sticks.
- Spray a little pam on the tray and cover the bottom completely with the tortillas.
- Place the pieces of bread in a layer. Then add some bananas, raisins, nuts, and cheese. Pour some syrup over the layer.
- Continue with the next layer of bread, followed by the rest of the ingredients, and pour some more syrup until you almost reach the top of the tray (the syrup should cover all the layers).
- Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
- remove from the oven and let cool for an hour without removing the aluminum foil.
I used a 11 in tray and got two layers done as it is not very deep. you can go up to 3 layers if you have a deeper tray.
I put exact measurements for the topping ingredients, like the peanuts, cheese, raisins, etc, however these will go better with your own criteria, it will depend on how you like it more, personally I love a lot of peanuts.
Enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk!