About the Recipe
A little bit sweet, a little bit savory, Leonor's capirotada is a great addition to your Easter holiday. Follow in Leonor's footsteps and set the dish out for a first-come-first-served basis, and guarantee your guests will arrive on time to make sure they get a piece!
10 ea large birote or bolillos (or 3 large sourdough baguettes)
6 ea corn tortillas
1 c unsalted butter
2 ea 12-oz can evaporated milk
4 c water
12 oz piloncillo or dark brown sugar
1 c dried prunes
2 ea large mexican cinnamon sticks
8 oz monterey jack cheese
Cube the bread into approximately ½ inch - 1 inch cubes. Allow to dry out overnight, along with the corn tortillas.
The next day, preheat the oven to 350F.
Melt half the butter in a large oval casserole, and toss half of the dried out bread in the butter to coat. Distribute it evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the butter and bread, and lay out on a second baking sheet. Place both baking sheets of bread in the oven to toast until the edges are golden, about 15-20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.
While the bread is toasting, combine the evaporated milk, water, piloncillo, and prunes in a pot. Gently crush the cinnamon sticks into the milk mixture, so the loose scrolls of cinnamon break into shards. Place the pot over medium-low heat, allowing the piloncillo to dissolve into the liquid. Whisk occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring up to a simmer, then turn the heat off.
Slice the jack cheese into thick, ¼ inch slices and set aside.
Without wiping out the casserole, line the bottom with the dried out tortillas. Place ⅓ of the bread on top of the tortillas, and spoon ⅓ of the syrup, including the shards of cinnamon and prunes, over the top, allowing the liquid to soak into the bread. Add ⅓ of the cheese slices, then repeat twice more with the remaining ingredients. After adding another layer of bread, gently press it into the layers below before spooning over the syrup and adding cheese.
After topping with the last layer of cheese, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, and cook for 20 more minutes uncovered. Allow to cool before serving.
To serve like Leonora, place the cooled capirotada on the counter, and let family members dish it up themselves…but only if they get there in time!