Capirotada with tamarind & pears

Capirotada with tamarind & pears

Chris Middleton

Capirotada is basically Mexican bread pudding. It’s a big call but I firmly believe that my mum makes the best bread pudding! I know I’m biased, and sorry to all the beautiful mamas out there, but it was a neighbourhood favourite in my North London home and all the kids loved hanging around our house when Mum was cooking it. This recipe may seem wild but the pudding has received rave reviews from our restaurant customers. Cook it with or without the tamarind sauce and serve with yoghurt sorbet.


Quantity Ingredient
50g butter, softened
300g cinnamon fruit loaf or fruit brioche, cut into 2 cm slices
60g dried apricots, finely chopped
40g sultanas, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, drained
125g finely grated salty cheddar
55g stem ginger, finely chopped
45g flaked almonds
50g chocolate melts
Yoghurt sorbet, to serve

Poached pears

Quantity Ingredient
4 packham pears, peeled
500ml Stock syrup


Quantity Ingredient
200ml full-cream milk
200ml double cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 orange, finely grated zest
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
80g brown sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top

Tamarind sauce

Quantity Ingredient
125g tamarind pulp
125ml freshly squeezed lime juice
250g brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
120g pitted dates
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 tablespoon pouring cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To poach the pears, place them in a medium saucepan, cover with stock syrup and cook over low heat until simmering. Cover with a circle of baking paper, to help keep the pears submerged, and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the stock.
  3. To prepare the custard, combine the milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds, orange zest and spices and allow to simmer over medium–low heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until pale and creamy. Gradually pour in the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously on low, until combined. Set aside to infuse.
  5. Butter the bread and cut it into cubes.
  6. To assemble the pudding, create a layer of fruit and cheese, scattering half of the apricots, sultanas, cheese and ginger in the base of a medium ovenproof casserole or pie dish. Top with the buttered bread cubes and pour over the infused custard. Sprinkle with the remaining fruit and cheese, the almonds, chocolate and the extra brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until the pudding is firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly.
  8. To make the tamarind sauce, combine all the ingredients, except the cream, in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, until the tamarind has dissolved and the dates have softened to a pulp. Transfer to a food processor and blend to make a smooth sauce. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Add the cream and stir to combine. Keep warm.
  9. Cut the poached pears into quarters and then slice each quarter lengthways into 4 slices.
  10. To serve, present the pudding in its cooking dish or cut into individual portions. Serve the pears alongside or scatter the pudding with pear slices, top with yoghurt sorbet and serve with the warm tamarind sauce. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans, if desired.
Paul Wilson
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