Capirotada is a traditional bread pudding that is enjoyed during Lent throughout Latin America
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes
8 oz. dense French bread, sliced into 1-inch-thick slices (day-old bread is the best) (250gr)
1 1/2 sticks butter (172 gr)
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (<1gr)
2 qts. water (2lt)
1/2 teaspoon anise seed (<1gr)
4 pieces star anise
2 whole cinnamon sticks
8 oz piloncillo, or 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (250gr)
1/4 cup golden raisins (40gr)
7 oz. mixed dried fruit, chopped (198gr)
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional) (75gr)
12 oz. cheese, thinly sliced (375gr)
Fresh bananas for garnish (I used Dominico mini bananas)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To prepare bread: On an ungreased cookie sheet, toast bread under oven broiler until golden on each side. Set aside.
To prepare tea and fruit: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Place anise seeds and star anise in a metal tea ball, and add to water. Add the cinnamon sticks and piloncillo. Boil for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the whole spices.
Add mixed fruit and raisins to the tea, and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
In a deep 4-6 quart (4-6lt) casserole, melt the butter. Add the onions and ground black pepper. Saute the onions and butter over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour the butter through a fine mesh strainer. Remove and discard and the onions.
Brush each of the pieces of bread with the melted butter.
In the baking dish, place ingredients in layers, starting with a single layer of bread. Cut smaller pieces of bread to fill large gaps.
Using a slotted spoon, remove some of the fruit from the tea, and distribute evenly over the bread layer.
Over the fruit, add a layer of cheese. Sprinkle in optional pecans, if desired.
Place another layer of butter basted bread over the cheese, and continue to layer with fruit, cheese and then a final layer of bread on top.
Cover the baking dish with lid or aluminum foil.
Bake the bread pudding for 1 hour. To test for doneness, tilt the baking dish to see if any liquid becomes visible. If so, continue baking the capirotada until all the liquid is absorbed by the bread.
Serve the capirotada garnished with sliced bananas.