Makes 8 servings
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup piloncillo brown sugar or firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 four-inch Mexican cinnamon sticks
- rind of 1 orange, grated
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 2 tart red apples, chopped
- ¾ cup raisins
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- vegetable cooking spray
- 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided
- Combine water, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and orange rind in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks from mixture; set aside.
- Combine rice, apples, raisins and almonds in large bowl.
- Spoon half of rice mixture in bottom of 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over rice mixture.
- Spoon remaining rice mixture over cheese.
- Pour sugar mixture over rice. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Cover and bake at 350 °F for 45 to 50 minutes.
- Serve hot.