Christmas Capirotada - Mexican Bread Pudding

This is not your Mama's Capirotada, expect an unexpected burst of orange flavor mixed with cinnamon, cranberries and apples.


INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cps. Brown Sugar or Piloncillo

3/4 cp Water

3/4 cp Orange Juice

1/2 cp Butter

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon or 1 Cinnamon Stick

1/2 tsp Orange Extract 

1/2 lb Queso Fresco or Monterey Jack, cubed

2 cps - Golden Delicious Apples, sliced

1/2 cp Dried Cranberries

1/2 cp Pecans, whole or chopped

1/2 Loaf of French or Sweet Bread or 3-4 Bolillos, sliced

Vanilla or Toffee Ice Cream

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a sauce pan add brown sugar, water, orange juice, butter and cinnamon and bring to a boil while mixing. Reduce heat then simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard cinnamon stick if used. Cut bread into 1/2 inch slices and place unlayered on a cookie sheet. Toast in oven until lightly brown.

In a baking dish with cover, place a layer of bread, sprinkle 1/3 each of apples, dried cranberries, pecans and cheese. Pour 1/3 cinnamon syrup on top. Repeat layers and top with remaining syrup. Cover and bake in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Uncover for last 5 minutes.

Serve 1/2 cup or more of warm pudding on an individual plate or bowl topped with fresh whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.  

Substitutes: Feel free to substitute fruits, nuts, cheeses and extracts and just make it your own!


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