How to make: Capirotada for Lent (Mexican bread pudding)

This capirotada is my version of Mexican bread pudding. There is no right way to make this but the basics are bread (of course), butter, and piloncillo (a Mexican brown sugar). If you do not have piloncillo, many people substitute dark brown sugar, about 8 oz. I asked many Mexican women how they made it, including my mother. Using their recipes, I made my own using what I considered the best tips from each of their recipes. Feel free to substitute your favorite fruit. The greatest recipes are always made by trial and error.

For this you will need:

4 Cups of Water
1 (8 oz) piloncillo
1/2 Cup of butter or margarine
6-9 bolillo rolls (or 1 baguette or other type of french bread or hoagie roll)
2 Cinnamon sticks (best if bought in a Mexican grocery store, other wise you will end up using cassia)
6 whole cloves
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp orange zest
2 Bananas 6 oz melting cheese (such as cheddar, muenster, mozzarella, Monterrey jack, quesadilla, asadero)
1 1/2 Cup of peanuts
5 oz shredded flaked sweetened coconut


1. In a large pot place water, piloncillo (or brown sugar), cinnamon, lemon & orange zest, and cloves to a boil until piloncillo dissolves and a thin syrup forms. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Keep on low heat.
2. Cut bread into thin pieces and toast in over or toaster oven until crispy brown. Do not burn.
3. Cut bananas and cheese into 1/2 inch pieces or cubes
4. Place 1 layer of bread in a 9 x 13 inch casserole or baking pan.
5. Melt butter in microwave
6. With pastry brush, brush melter butter over toasted bread.
7. Sprinkle 1/2 of the bananas and 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the peanuts and 1/2 of the coconut over the buttered bread.
8. Pour half of the syrup over the bread, making sure every piece is soaked.
9. Place another layer or bread. Brush with butter.
10. Repeat step 7.
11. Repeat step 8.
12. If any butter remains, pour it over the entire dish.

13. Cover with foil and press down on bread softly to compact. Place in warm oven for 10 min, just until cheese melts.
Eat warm or cool in refrigerator and serve cold.