Capirotada is a traditional Mexican dessert, similar to what we know of as a bread pudding. In this variation, a baguette is sliced and toasted then layered with fruit in a dish and drizzled with a spiced fruit syrup. This dish is often eaten in Mexico around Easter time and carries a rich symbolism to the Passion of Christ.
200g piloncillo (raw cane sugar)
1 guava, halved
peel of 1/2 orange
2 sticks cinnamon
5 whole cloves
5 allspice berries
150g lard or butter
1 baguette, cut into 1cm thick slices
75g roasted peanuts
100g crystallised fruit (for example pineapple) (optional)
75g cotija cheese
cake sprinkles, to decorate
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Directions Preparation:20min › Cook:20min › Extra time:30min › Ready in:1hour10min
Into a saucepan, combine the sugar, guava, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Pour in the water, stir and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer until a syrup forms, about 10 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bowl and reserve for later.
Meanwhile, melt the lard or butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the baguette slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Into a dish, arrange half of the bread slices followed by half of the raisins, peanuts, pecans, pineapple and cheese. Drizzle with half of the reserved syrup. Repeat to make a second layer with the remaining ingredients. Finally, add some cake sprinkles on top.
Let stand for 1 to 2 hours before serving, giving the bread time to absorb the syrup.
Fresh guava is available in some supermarkets occasionally, however it may be easier to find online. Search speciality shops for the piloncillo sugar, and in a pinch use a dark raw cane sugar. Cotija cheese may also be found online or in speciality shops, however in a pinch try substituting with grated Parmesan cheese or finely crumbled feta.