Mexican Bread Pudding
2 cups torn firm texture bread (French will do)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 inch stick of cinnamon
2 whole cloves
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 ripe medium plantain (or a large firm banana), sliced
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup shredded asadero, Chihuahua or Monterey jack cheese
Crema Mexicana, crème fraiche or dairy sour cream
Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Dry the torn bread on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until dried.
Make a syrup in a small saucepan with the water, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced to 3/4 cup. Strain and discard spices.
Toss the bread with the syrup and fold in the apples, plantain, raisins and almonds. Place in a 2 quart baking dish and bake covered for 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender.
Serve warm with a sprinkle of the cheese and with the crema.