This dessert, layered with cheese and soaked in a syrup made with piloncillo, a type of brown sugar used in Mexican cooking, is a traditional Lenten feast dish.
- 1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped piloncillo
- 1 stick cinnamon, preferably canela
- 2 eggs
- 8 oz. stale bolillos (see Mexico's Daily Breads)
- 8 oz. queso Oaxaca
- 2⁄3 cup raisins
- 1⁄2 cup roughly chopped almonds
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 350°. Bring sugar, canela, and 1 1⁄2 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; cook until reduced by a quarter, about 40 minutes. Discard cinnamon, and set aside to cool; once cool, whisk in eggs until smooth.
Combine bread, 3⁄4 of the cheese, raisins, and almonds in a bowl; pour over syrup and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to an 8" x 8" baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and dot with butter; cover dish with foil. Bake until pudding is bubbling hot and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking until cheese is lightly browned, about 12 minutes more. Scoops into bowls; serve with ice cream, if you like.