Apple–Walnut Capirotada

Mary Sue Milliken

Border Grill Restaurants and Truck, Los Angeles; and Las Vegas

Mexican bread pudding is a rich, unfussy dessert that can be scooped out and served in bowls along with a dollop of fresh crema or ice cream. Tradionally served in the days leading up to Easter, it is amazingly addicve, even for avowed non‐bread pudding people. And it’s a perfect way to repurpose bread that is past its prime, as well as take advantage of a bounful harvest of apples.


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1/2 loaf French bread, with crust, cut into small cubes (about 10 ounces)
  • 8 ounces brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider or fresh apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • 2 to 3 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or Gravenstein)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted*
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, chilled and chopped
  • Crema, ice cream, or sorbet, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 13‐ x 9‐inch glass casserole or lasagna pan.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the bread cubes, and srto coat evenly. Spread the cubeson a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, or until lightly brown and crisp. Remove the bread and turn the oven temperature up to 375°F.

Combine the sugar and apple cider (or juice)  in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cinnamon and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped apples, walnuts, cream cheese, and toasted bread cubes. Drizzle with the reserved sugar syrup and mix to evenly distribute. Transfer the mixture to the buttered casserole or pan. Bake, uncovered, srring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Then bake an addional 5 minutes, without srring, until the top is golden brown and crusty and the liquid is almost gone. Serve warm topped with crema, ice cream, or sorbet.

* To toast nuts, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake unl slightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes, shaking occasionally and being careful not to burn. Set aside to cool.

Copyright © 2018, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,


8 to 10 servings