Field Notes

Master Class: Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Earlier this week, we shared our recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate, and in the process of testing and drinking a few glasses, we decided we loved the flavors so much that we’d apply them to a pie (it is the week before Thanksgiving, after all).

This recipe is built off of a chocolate pie recipe from an old community cookbook we found in Texas. We love it for its ease (it’s a dump-and-stir deal), and consistent results. We kicked it up with the addition of chilies, vanilla and cinnamon, and a cornmeal crust that adds texture while giving a nod to the importance of cornmeal in Mexican cooking.

Yield: 1 8-inch pie

  • For the crust:
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into cubes
  • Ice water

For the filling:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 1 ounce 70% (or higher) chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (
  • Whipped cream, for serving

In a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks pebbly and forms pea-size clumps. Add cold water by the tablespoon-ful, pulsing between each addition, until the mixture holds together when pressed between your fingertips (it should take approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons of water to reach this point).

Dump out the contents on a clean work surface and press the dough together to form a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Transfer to an 8-inch pie tin and trim back the overhang to ½ inch. Fold the overhang under to form a nice edge and crimp. Dock the dough generously with a fork and transfer to the oven; bake until the crust is a nice golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Add the remaining ingredients and increase the heat to medium. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency, about 10 minutes. Pour into the cooled crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding to keep a film from forming, and let cool completely. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon.