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Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins
Every region of Mexico has its own version of this traditional Lenten dessert. This northern recipe is unusual in that it includes layers of cheese. It is sturdy and nourishing enough to be served as a late supper.
- 20 -25 slices hard rolls (1-2 days old) or 20 -25 slices baguette (1-2 days old)
- 2⁄3 cup butter
- 10 corn tortillas, toasted (optional)
- 2 cups queso anejo, grated or 2 cups chihuahua cheese or 2 cups monterey jack cheese or 2 cups medium-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 1⁄4 cups raisins
- 1 1⁄2 cups walnuts or 1 1⁄2 cups peanuts
- 3 cups water
- 6 ounces piloncillo (raw sugar)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 cup milk
- To make the syrup, mix the sugar, water, cinnamon stick and cloves in a saucepan and boil, stirring, until the mixture forms a light syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk.
- Toast the bread until lightly browned. Spread the butter on the bread.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Cover the sides and bottom of a cazuela or casserole with the tortillas. Dip each piece of bread into the syrup and arrange a layer of bread in the bottom of the cazuela. Sprinkle with part of the cheese, raisins and nuts until all the ingredients have been used.
- Strain the syrup that is left over and pour over the pudding. Cover the cazuela with foil and bake the pudding for 20 minutes, uncovering periodically and smoothing the surface of the pudding with a wooden spoon. Lower the oven temperature to 300 F (150 C) and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve lukewarm.
- Variation: Cover the pudding with meringue and bake in a 500 F oven for 5 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.