Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Capirotada, Mexican bread pudding traditional for lent

capirotada

I did not grow up eating capirotada. Truth be told, I had never even heard of it until a few years ago when I was at a Mexican restaurant on a Lenten Friday. “Hay capirotada,” was written on a chalkboard and curious what it was, I ordered some. The waitress brought me a small plate with a dessert made of toasted bread slices drenched in a sweet and spicy syrup. It was soft and sticky, but there were crunchy almonds, chewy raisins and a creamy tang to keep it from becoming cloying. Capirotada? I was in love!

Newly smitten, I decided to do some research. I learned that capirotada is Mexican bread pudding, with the addition of savory cheese being one of its signatures. It’s traditionally eaten during Lent as some say because the cheese provides extra protein to Lenten observers abstaining from meat on Fridays. My friend Penny, however, informed that it’s a welcome dessert at any festive occasion on the calendar, not just during those periods of abstinence.

Despite its popularity with those in the know, I’ve found that it’s still somewhat of an esoteric dessert, despite it being in existence in some form since the 1400’s. And sure, you’ll see it on menus and it’s even been written about in the Texas press since the 1930’s, but for some reason it never caught on with eaters as much as other Mexican delicacies such as tres leches cake or flan.

cinnamon and cloves

I think I know why.

First, there’s the cheese factor. I bet that for some people the thought of savory cheese in such a sweet dessert seems odd. Sure, even I at first found it strange. But once you taste it you realize that it’s not bizarre at all and actually, it works. Think about it—cheese is a classic pairing with sweets, such as goat cheese and dried apricots, blue cheese with candied pecans or that Northeast autumn stalwart of cheddar cheese with apple pie. And if you’re from Texas, surely you grew up with cheddar cheese sprinkled on your canned pineapple and peaches.

Then there’s the classic Mexican way of making capirotada, which calls for an onion, a tomato and even cilantro to be added to the syrup. OK, even I haven’t been brave enough to try that, but I’m sure it’s not completely bizarre as both tomatoes and onions have a natural sweetness to them when cooked.

But I think the main reason why it hasn’t met with popular approval is that there’s no definitive way to make it. There’s the classic recipe that calls for peanuts and raisins to be sprinkled throughout the pudding (with an occasional tomato or onion to be found). But you may see methods where beyond the syrup, a custard made with eggs and milk is added for binding. There’s also the temperature factor as some serve it warm and some serve it cold. And what kind of cheese to use? You’ll find some bake it with white Mexican soft melting cheeses such as Chihuahua, while others will use Mexican hard cheeses such as cotija, and in Texas you’ll often find it made with orange Longhorn cheddar. All these variables are enough to confuse anyone!

But you know what? I think this is what makes capirotada such a fascinating dessert. As the only preconceived notion you have is that it’s Mexican bread pudding made with cheese and syrup, you’re free to do with the details as you wish. Me? I like to make mine with raisins, pecans and Monterrey Jack. But I am not adverse to dried apricots, pecans and Longhorn cheddar. Or if you’re feeling really wild, why not dried figs, soft goat cheese and pecans? Apples and cheddar? Sure? Bananas and peanuts—but of course! Your only barrier to a captivating capirotada is the limits of your imagination.

capirotada

So here is my way of making capirotada. But by all means tinker with it as you wish as that’s the joy in making this dessert. And if you grew up eating it, how did your family serve it? Or was it different every time?

Capirotada
1 24-inch loaf of French bread, cubed and toasted (about six cups)
2 cups of brown sugar or 16 oz. of piloncillo
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup of pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup of raisins
½ cup of dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup of butter, melted

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make a syrup by boiling the sugar, water, cinnamon and cloves together for 10 minutes or until it’s slightly thickened and reduced.

In a greased large cast-iron skillet or an 8x8 cake pan, place half the bread and pour over it half the melted butter. Toss to coat. Drizzle about ¼ cup of the syrup over the bread and toss to coat. Layer on top of the bread the cheese, pecans, raisins and dried apricots. Place the rest of the bread on top, drizzle over the remaining butter and then pour over the rest of the syrup. Make sure that each piece of bread is properly coated in syrup.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for fifteen more minutes. I like to eat it warm.

Serves 8.

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75 comments:

TaraTakesTheCake said...

bizarre but awesome looking! i've lived in both mexico (very short period of time) and texas and never heard of this. thanks so much for sharing!

bexbakes said...

wow, I've never heard of capirotada but it's definitely now on my list of things to bake! Thanks for posting

A.S.C said...

So odd... I'm from the Fort Worth area and we used to make a similar thing to this whenever we did BBQs growing up under the name "Santa Fe Style Bread Pudding" . It looks nearly the name as this but I think you soaked the raisins in Bourbon and made some sort of caramelized sauce with it... Hmmm worth investigating

kathi said...

I don't remember the capirotada I grew up with having cheese in it, but it has been a realy long time since I had any. I didn't like it as a kid because it was too mushy for me. I would probably like it now.

Gabriela said...

This is a Lenten favorite in my family. I grew-up calling it "Sopa" (I don't know why New Mexicans call it that instead of "Capirotada"?). Your version looks yummy! I'll be posting my recipe soon, as I'm making a batch for Friday supper!

happyfeet said...

I wonder if you could mix some cream in with the syrup to make it more bread puddingy...

would that be wrong?

Anonymous said...

My mom uses sandwich bread and in addition soaks it in anise-flavored water (steeps anise seeds in hot water for a few minutes). She tops it with raisins, cheddar cheese and sliced green onions. This version is a recipe from the Kingsville area of Texas.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great! Also, sounds exactly like trying to get a recipe for "bread pudding" or "hash!" Everyone has their own way of doing it, and most of them are pretty good!

Will definitely be trying this. Yum!

Pete

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

TaraTakesTheCake--I know, I was surprised how many people didn't know about it!

Bexbakes--You're welcome--it's wonderful!

A.S.C.--Some versions of capirotada soak the raisins in rum, which sounds very similar.

Kathi--The cheese isn't obvious, which may be why you didn't notice it.

Gabriela--Can't wait to see your recipe!

Happy feet--I don't think it would be wrong--I know some people who use cream and eggs to make it more custardy.

Anon--Green onions? Now that sounds very authentic!

Pete--It's hard to mess up, I agree!

Deanna said...

I have never heard of this. But I love bread pudding and I love cheese even more so I'll have to try it. I love that you used pecans since I would have substituted them for walnuts or peanuts anyways.

lisa said...

This is new to me, and now I want to try it! I'll definitely be taking your approach with no tomatoes or onions for the first try.

Susan said...

Pappasitos serves a chocolate version that is one of my favorites. Pretty sure they don't have cheese in it, though.

Heather @ chiknpastry said...

this sounds so awesome, and so flexible! I do love bread pudding, and i'm definitely not afraid to add a lil' cheese to my sweets!

Farmer Jen said...

Capirotada! I recently read the novel "Isabel's Daughter" by Judi Ryan Hendricks where she talks about all sorts of Mexican and New Mexican foods and makes them sound so scrumptious. I have been craving these things, including capirotada ever since I read that book. Thank you so much for this post and your recipe! Now I can indulge my cravings.

Ann said...

Hmmm, I've heard the name bandied about in Houston, and figured it was some kind of pudding. I had no idea it had CHEESE! Thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Yum, this recipe sounds great! I'll have to give it a try!

My family always added a little orange zest to our recipe, it just adds the perfect amount of "brightness".

Screwed Up Texan said...

Oh interesting recipe. The cheese part really gets me. The pecans and raisins and apricots must be delicious together.

Bee said...

Well, your version looks delicious . . . but you kind of lost me in the onion/tomato part in the middle.

There is no Monterrey Jack in England, but there are so many other great cheeses. I'm thinking Wensleydale.

Manders said...

Man, this would be awesome if I hadn't given up dairy for Lent... :-/ Come Easter, though, I am all over this.

And I've lived in Texas since I was 6, and I never heard of cheddar on pineapple or peaches. I am intrigued.

Joanne said...

Have I ever mentioned how thoroughly enamored I am with bread pudding? No. Well then let me wax poetic for a minute or two. It is like my oxygen and I will not let a stone go unturned until I try all of the varieties out there. I.e. I will be making this. Because it sounds like heaven.

Anonymous said...

My mother makes capirotada every lent, the only "dessert" she allows herself to have. Never really liked it myself, but always found the combo of ingredients (pecans, longhorn cheese, tomato,onion, cloves) interesting

Leslie said...

Geez, I"m all over bread puddings -- both sweet and savory. This version is atypical, but I'm game! Thanks for sharing -- love the old world dishes like this.

Banannas said...

like gabriela, i always knew this as "sopa" and loved it because of its kinship to bread pudding, sans the egginess. thanks for posting this...i'll have to try recreating it soon with the ingredients i can get my hands on!

James said...

My favorite dessert, with Gajar ka Halwa a close second. I'm afraid the thought of a neon orange cheddar in this dish sends shivers down my spine. Has to be Monterrey Jack. But a nice chèvre sounds very interesting, and probably more authentic than you know. You must fry the bread in order to give the dish some body, otherwise you have nothing more than a bread pudding. More accessible to the Anglo palate, but this dish is not a pudding.

Miranda said...

I came across your site a few weeks back and I am in love. I enjoy every post!!! This looks incredible!!!!

Lesley said...

I adore capirotada! But I've never made it homemade. Your post has inspired me. Maybe I'll try it with Mexican manchego, which is kind of like a mild cheddar.

Also, do you share the same love of whacking a cone of piloncillo to death? There's something about smacking it with your knife and watching it crumble that's oddly satisfying.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Wow...so I've never heard of this, but I think I definitely need to try a version. It sounds so intriguing - especially with something like a Chihuahua cheese. Yum.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Lisa--Yes, I think that's the best way to introduce yourself to capirotada!

Deanna--If you love bread pudding and you love cheese, you can't miss with capirotada!

Susan--Now that sounds amazing!

Heather--I agree, cheese with sweets is a wonderful combination!

Farmer Jen--I'll have to read that book!

Ann--You're very welcome!

Anon--Yes, orange zest always adds just the right note!

Screwed Up Texan--They are so wonderful, especially drenched in that sticky, sweet, cinnamon brown-sugar syrup.

Bee--I have to admit that I don't understand it, but I'm willing to try it at least once. And I bet Wensleydale would be wonderful with this!

Manders--Hey, there's only a couple more weeks of Lent! Your wait will not be long.

Joanne--Oh, my! You DO love your bread pudding! May you enjoy this one as well!

Anon--It is an interesting combo.

Leslie--I agree, I'm fascinated by dishes that have stood the test of time.

BBanannas--I've never heard it called sopa but will keep my eyes out for that.

James--I agree, chevre is fantastic in it.

Miranda--Welcome and thank you!

Tasty Eats at Home--Yes! Chihuahua is perfect in this.

Lesley--I so wish we could get Mexican manchego in New York. And I'm always for a little drama in the kitchen.

Stephanie Manley said...

This looks really wonderful. I have lived here in Houston for almost 15 years now, and I have missed this classic. Perhaps I need to put down the churros and branch out and try something new. Beautiful photos!

boscodagama said...

This sounds like some of the desserts my cousin's husband who went to high school in Morocco makes.

simplysandi said...

Wow.. I have never heard of it, but I love savory and sweet, and I live in Texas. So, I definitely need to give this a try

Esmer said...

I.LOVE.bread pudding! The Omni Hotel in Ft. Worth does a great one with chocolate. I was just there for a conference and I think I ate it two or three times during that week!
I do remember my mom and grandmother eating capirotada with cheddar cheese. It always seemed a wierd combo to me as a kid, but I'm thinking I need to jump right in and try it soon. Thanks for the recipe! :)

sharisse said...

this was one of my great-grandmother's crowd pleasers, and she baked for a crowd!...she didn't add apricots, which to me is a great choice and she used texas longhorn cheddar, but this recipe is a delight, as is your site...thanks...it always brings back special memories...

Roslyn said...

Sounds like something I need to try!

Joycee said...

You are my featured blog today with your wonderful recipe for Ninfa's Green Sauce! Thanks so much Lisa for sharing these wonderful recipes...
http://grannymountain.blogspot.com/2010/03/cowboy-food.html

Sarah said...

Hi Lisa,

I have been a religious reader of your blog for awhile now. I am from the neighboring state, New Mexico. When I read this, I thought that finally, someone is giving this dessert its due. Our family have called it 'sopa.' I am unsure why since sopa means soup. I will have to figure that one out. I have made this on several occasions with dried apricots because my sister and mother do not like raisins. I have always enjoyed this dish during the lenten season.

oscar said...

Capirotada is awesome. I grew up in Kingsville Texas and my grandmother or aunts would always make this during Lent. I was well aware of the cheese in the dish, and absolutely loved it.

Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Stephanie--Thank you! And it's not as common as you might think in Texas.

Boscodagama--I can totally see that connection, especially with the syrup and dried fruit.

Simplysandi--Yes, you should!

Esmer--I can imagine how weird it must seem when you're a kid.

Sharisse--I don't mind it myself with Texas longhorn cheddar--I like the orange!

Roslyn--Yes, you should!

Joycee--Ah, thank you for this. I'm honored!

Sarah--It's definitely a Lenten tradition in my home now!

Oscar--See, I don't think the cheese is strange, but I can understand some kids thinking it's odd.

Morgan G said...

Cannot wait to tell my dad about this! He loves to cook so we are planning a Tex-Mex feast based on your recipes - Chipotle Mac N Cheese included. Maybe he'll finally forgive me for not be a flan fan if I can go toe-to-toe with him on this fine-looking Mexican dessert. Thanks!

Katie @ Cozydelicious said...

How could you go wrong with cheese and bread and nuts? Yum! I love the idea of cheese in a sweet bread pudding, and I love that it's so flexible. I'm already wondering about goat cheese and dried cherries. Thank you!

Lulu said...

Apricots what a nice touch!
My best friends Mom makes this at Easter time and I visit when ever I can during Easter. :) They are from the Monterrey area of Mexico.

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Oh my goodness, this look so good. It will be put on my list. Just wish it would apprear tonight for a snack!

Karina Allrich said...

Wow. New to me, too! Gorgeous. I love the combo of pecans and cinnamon. Looks beyond delicious.

Pearlygirl said...

OMG!I have been racking my brain trying to remember my grandmother's recipe for years. She used peanuts, Jack cheese and raisins. But she cooked it on top of the stove. I am going to try your recipe. Thank you, thank you

Pearlygirl

Michelle From TX said...

I visited my family in TX last week (I've lived in MD for the past 13 yrs), and totally forgot about capirotada after all these years. Thank you for posting! I also helped my family make cuernitos for my baby shower. Ever had them??

pottingsoil said...

Oh I already know what I am going to do with this! Thanks!

ddvierra68 said...

I grew up eating this at Lent. Both of my grandmothers made it with peanuts (which they shelled), raisins and monterey jack cheese. I've had it other ways but have not liked any of them except the "original" way of my grandmas. Both Grams are gone now and unfortunately the recipes have gone with them as well. My mother and aunts have been able to replicate my Grandmothers recipe's but somehow, its not exactly the same. Maybe it was the love that we felt while eating it... Yes, I'm sure love was the secret ingredient!

dillonsmimi said...

In the oven right now! As I was putting it together I thought of my BFF in second grade(Victoria, Texas)...she shared a bite with me and I was in love! The next day her mom sent the written recipe along with a few cinnamon sticks. My very first encounter with the age old tradition of recipe sharing....
**OBTW...your recipes are always right on the money.

Bren said...

girlfriend. ive been put on to this and can't wait to make it. i use fresh cloves a lot in our desserts, but savory food, too! :) buen provecho.

Diane said...

I'm really surprised to read about capirotada being an "esoteric" dish; I grew up with it being made in my household every Lenten season. Also, the preparation for the dish has always been a bit different in my household and is radically different now as (a.) we haven't used piloncillo for years ever since Splenda brought out a brown sugar blend due to Mom's diabetes and (b.) I've always required a separate dish due to my not liking cheese in my capirotada. As an example, here's how I made the last batch of capirotada:

I took a big loaf of stale bakery French bread and cut it into cubes, then took about two cups' worth of pecans and roughly chopped them. While I did that, I had roughly 4 cups of water heating up on the stove with about five cinnamon sticks and a couple of cloves, then when it started simmering I poured in about a cup and a half of the Splenda brown sugar blend and about three cups of raisins to plump up (I love raisins!). I then grated a large block of mild cheddar cheese and set two cups of grated cheese aside for another meal (maybe chalupas?). Then I took out two 8"x8" Pyrex dishes and a small pie tin (to give to one of Mom's friends), filled the bottom with cubed bread, topped one of the Pyrex dishes and the tin with the cheese, topped all the dishes with the pecans and raisins strained from the sugary broth (I put extra on mine), took out the cinnamon sticks in the process, poured lots of broth over all of the dishes, covered them with foil, and finished them off in the oven (350 degrees) for about 45 minutes. I just had a bowl I served up from my dish (in the fridge for safekeeping) and microwaved for a minute and a half to warm up -- yum!

Anonymous said...

my mom used to make this when i was little. i haven't had it since. other variations i remember are with crush hard candies and tortillas. the tortillas were usually used at the bottom of the pan to make sort of a crust.

it's been a good 20 years since i've had it and i'm planning on making it for some friends this weekend.

joyce said...

Wow! Absolutely lovely!

sandovalski said...

my mom would make capirotada at christmas time and instead of dried apricots she would put dried
prunes.people loved when she would make capirotada i was very young and really didnt make that dessert
one that i really liked

Jessie said...

Growing up on a ranch in South Texas this was always made with raisens and cheese. I never knew what it was called and my mom always just called it bread pudding. The name was lost with my grandparents. Thanks for posting! Now, I can make it for my family!!

Jane said...

The capirotada I ate as a teenager, living in Las Cruces, had sliced boiled eggs in addition to the rest of the ingredients you listed. Maybe that was a family adaption, don't know. But they actually were good.

aguacatesandatwenty said...

I'm from West Texas, Fort Stockton to be exact, and my family has lived and died in this area and near here in Mexico. For a handful of generations. I think what makes it Capirotada is the "tea" you make from boiling cinnamon, cloves, star anise, along with the raisins to plump them up, and get the sweetness from them. We've never used the Piloncillo, or sugar, or brown sugar to sweeten it and thicken it, using the sugar gleaned from the raisins instead, and then using the rehydrated raisins in the Capirotada. Also, we've never used milk or eggs to make a thicker liquid. Thinking back, our stuff was really bare bones simple, i suppose from our relative poverty, and the extra poverty we took on because of Lent. The rest is the same. Bread, the yellow longhorn cheese(which i never really liked), and peanuts. As a result, our Capirotada is kind of mushy, and a mellow sweet, being more spicy than sweet. Finally, around here, some families know the bread pudding as Migas instead of Capirotada. Migas, for my family, being the corn tortillas with egg. Interestingly enough, when Migas are known as the bread pudding, Capirotada is an unknown, or unused word, and the corn tortillas and egg are known as just that: Tortillas de Maiz con huevo.

Amelia said...

amelia said...
I grew up south of San Antonio and we always had capirotada. Ours had piloncillo and later just brown sugar syrup. always raisins and cheddar cheese. never milk, to this day I still will treat myself to this wonderful dish.

momeebee said...

I've always browned my bread in the oven before putting it in the dish; I wonder if I could get away without doing the extra step? Also in addition to raisins put crushed pineapple and pinons in mine. I think I might try pecans with the cost of pinons so high.

Maira-Luisa said...

I think my grandma, who was from South Texas, used to make a syrup with ancho chillies for her capirotada. I need to check her old recipe book.

La Comadre said...

Capirotada history:

The basic ingredients carry a rich symbolism to the Passion of Christ, and the dish is viewed by many Mexican and Mexican-American families as a reminder of the suffering of Christ on Good Friday. The bread is for the Body of Christ, the syrup is his blood, the raisins are the nails of the cross, and the whole cinnamon sticks are the wood of the cross. The melted cheese stands for the Holy Shroud. The ingredients and recipes have been recorded by the Holy Office of the Inquisition and saved to this day in the archives.

I grew up with the peanut version. over the years, I've reduced sugar content, changed to almonds and pecans. I just hosted a tea and made it and ladies went crazy. I topped with a light dollop of real whipped cream and added a sprig of mint for a nice tea touch.

Gena @ A Bluebonnet in Beantown said...

A friend referred me to your blog and this recipe in particular. I'm also a Texan transplanted to the East Coast (in my case, Boston). I'd lived in Austin for almost twenty years and had never heard of capirotada. I can't wait to try this! (And now that I know about your blog, I'll be following it with interest!)

Misty said...

I absolutely love your site. I came across it while searching for a recipe for capirotada. My aunt makes it for me each time I go home but hers is a simpler version made of anice and cinnamon tea, cheddar cheese, raisins, and actual sliced sandwich bread. I'm from south texas and after perusing through your recipes I have to commend you because the different ingredient combinations have me eager to try every recipe. I made this tonight for my parents and my two year old and they loved it. I added almonds but it was so different than the small town version I grew up with. Again, I love your blog.

MM said...

Hi Lisa! Fellow Homesick Texan here...but the hubs, in-laws, & I have moved to Panama. It's amazing the ingredients you cannot find here! Anyway, my hubs and I are both 1/2 mexican. My FIL is Mexican. When I made a bunch of tortas, we had tons of bread left over so I ended up looking for inspiration on the 'net and found you! The second my FIL heard capirotada, he was so excited! I did change the recipe a little and the technique, so I was really nervous when we took the first bite. He LOVED it and exclaimed how it was just how he remembered growing up! Thank you so much! I'm glad I could put a smile on my FIL's face that transplanted him back to childhood with every bite. The entire 9 X 13 dish was devoured within 5 minutes of leaving the oven!

After looking through your recipe index, I'm hooked! Chorizo, here I come! Thanks again!

MM

Anonymous said...

From what I can remember my Mother would toast french bread with butter and then brew a tea with canella sticks and add sugar to the tea to sweetness she would then tear the bread up into smaller pieces and then mix in raisens and longhorn cheddar and walnuts or pecans she would then cover the mix with the tea. With the cheese it was small nuggets so that you would get a tang or pop of flavor
same with the raisens and the nuts to me it works better when these items are not overwhelming the pudding. These items would be placed in a cake dish and baked to toast and melt.

Anonymous said...

Gabriela. You are right in some parts of Mexico they named "Sopa de pan" (Bread Soup) like in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon. There are different recipes according to the State where you live. Some recipies include "chopped chile serrano". I like this recipe it is much like the one that my mother uses to do.

renae said...

This is a great dessert.. And normally (for us mexican/catholics) we only make this dessert during Lent. I love it though!!

Tia Ginger said...

I also grew up watching adults rave about my abuelita's capirotada but refused to try it because of the the cheese. As a college student home on spring break I accepted a serving out of respect and as a way of sharing special time with my grandmother. One taste and I immediately regretted all the years I refused to even try it. I have been making it now for over twenty years. I make it with golden raisins, monterrey jack cheese and pecans. When serving it I offer my guests sweet cream to pour over it. I would not recommend using untoasted bread. The bread would absorb too much liquid and be too mushy. I also do not use any butter as I think the cheese and sugars make the dish sweet and add enough calories. Avoiding the butter also lets me pretend its ok to have another serving. G. Rosas, Amarillo, Texas

Nathan said...

Hi, just bumped into this post, my family from my Mexican side are from Guadalajara, and we make what some call "Capirotada Blanca" our syrup has milk, heavy cream, and sometimes condensed milk, it's a "white syrup" and it's infused with tomato, onion, clove, and cinnamon which are strained out, and sweetened also with some Piloncillo.

We use a soft fresh mexican cheese, pecans, and raisins, and the dish is heavily buttered and lined with corn tortillas. I posted the recipe on my blog if interested :)

http://nathanscomida.blogspot.com/2012/03/capirotada-mexican-bread-pudding.html

feli said...

I am from the rio grande valley, the tip of Texas and have eaten capirotada since I was a chubby little girl scout wannabe. My mother would make my grandmothers recipe every lenten season. It is a childhood memory and I learned to cook it my freshman year in college so I could feel close to family during lent. These are the types of foods that should be honored as cultural traditions that bind not only the wonderful Mexican American population of Texas but recognize the spiritual connection too. Capirotada was created so that we could eat a meatless tasty dish with items from a kitchen cupboard that would fill our bellies.

Anonymous said...

This recipe is exactly how I've eaten (and now make) Capirotada my entire life (minus the dried apricots). If possible use piloncillo rather than brown sugar, piloncillo gives it a true Mexican flavor.

Sandy said...

My grandmothers, one from El Paso, the other from Durango in northern Mexico, made capirotada as a way to use up stale bread. They also used longhorn Cheddar, which used to make me gag. No peanuts, though, which would have been the worst.

Much later in life, I had a version which used cream cheese which was sort of "melted" into some of the warm cinnamon and clove-infused brown sugar syrup. Much more palatable (and they used pecans, a very Mexican nut).

Irma said...

I love your recipe. Being raised Catholic Mom used to make capirotada every lent. I used to eat it out of the bowl leftover in the fridge. It is really good cold! I will have to try this on my non-Mexican husband. I think he will love it. Mom put apple and banana in addition to the raisins and nuts. I had forgotten about the cheese. Yum!!

Anonymous said...

my mom makes this on good friday she also adds goat cheese

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to run into this recipe, love it!
Wondering if I could use Brie for the cheese. As a child we would always use muenster cheese but want to try something different.

Angela said...

My mom used to make this and it was a favorite! She used brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, green onions and I thin cloves in the syrup; sandwich bread, raisins, pecans and whatever yellow cheddar cheese type thing was on hand. Yummm!

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