This bread pudding is a Lenten tradition in my family. If you can't find piloncillo where you live (you can buy it in any grocery store in San Antonio) you can substitute 3 cups of brown sugar for the 6 piloncillos (cones of unrefined sugar). Yes, onions and cheese in bread pudding does sound strange, but you'll be surprised at the overall taste of this dish. This is down-home Tex-Mex comfort food!
- 6 small piloncillo cones
- 12 cups water
- 8 short cinnamon sticks
- 2 bunches green onions or 1 large white onion, cut in quarters
- 3 loaves French bread, sliced thin
- 2 (16 ounce) containers soft margarine
- 1 (16 ounce) box raisins
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Combine water, piloncillos, cinnamon sticks and green onions in large pot or dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the piloncillos are dissolved and the syrup is dark from the spices.
- Taste- you may want to add additional brown sugar or spices depending on your personal tastes.
- Remove from heat and take out onions and cinnamon sticks.
- Toast the french bread (you can do this ahead of time or while the syrup is cooking).
- Spread margarine liberally on both sides of toast.
- Layer toast, cheese, raisins, and nuts in 2 9X13 pans (preferably glass), repeating until both pans are full, ending with a layer of cheese, raisins and nuts.
- Pour the syrup over the top, dividing evenly between both pans, and making sure that all the bread is moistened.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold.
- Store in the refrigerator.