Bertha's Capirotada


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound piloncillo cones or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-1/2 cups Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
  • 1 loaf (16 ounces) French bread sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
  • Directions:

    PREHEAT oven to 375F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
    HEAT water, piloncillos (or brown sugar), cinnamon stick and raisins in a large saucepan until mixture boils and ciloncillo dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside.
    PLACE bread in a single layer or on an ungreaded baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp, turning slices over after about 10 minutes.
    ARRANGE a layer of bread, cheese and nuts in baking dish. Remove and discard cinnamon stick from the syrup. Pour about half the syrup and raisins over layers. Repeat layers and syrup mixture until all the ingredients are used. Syrup should completely soak bread and come nearly to the top of the pan.
    COVER pan with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes until top is slightly crisp, pudding is set and syrup is absorbed.
    SERVE warm.

    Makes 10 to 12 servings.