Pineapple and Pecan Capriotada
The beauty of Capriotada as compared to European versions of bread pudding is the inclusion of the semi-firm, mild Mexican cheese called queso fresco. If you can't find it you can use Monterey Jack instead.
- 4 cup water
- 1 Pound piloncillo or 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 sticks canela or cinnamon
- 3 whole cloves
- cup cubed brioche (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 cup crumbled queso fresco (about 8 ounces) or Monterey Jack
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1.5 cup chopped pineapple
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Combine water, piloncillo, canela, and cloves and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring until piloncillo has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 2 hours. Strain and discard solids.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Arrange cubed bread on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast until golden, about 10 minutes.
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Combine bread, 3/4 of the cheese, pecans, pineapple, and 3/4 of the butter in a large bowl. Pour syrup over and stir until bread is well coated. Transfer to the baking dish and top with remaining cheese, and dot with remaining butter.
- Grease a sheet of foil and cover the baking dish with the greased side down. Bake for 40 minutes, uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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