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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mixing it up for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is upon us!!!

We don't really celebrate Thanksgiving in Costa Rica, why would we right? But seeing as my sister is married to a Gringo (that's what we Ticos call someone from the US of A) it's celebrated in my house. We're having a big dinner tomorrow and I get dessert of course. I've been racking my brain to try to come up with something different. I don't really like Pumpkin Pie, it's never been my thing. There's just something about it that doesn't appeal to me. I LOVED the Pumpkin Cheesecake I made, that was absolutely wonderful, but they had tasted that already. I didn't feel like repeating desserts, I wanted to come up with something that would knock somebody's socks off!

Talking with my sister the other day I told her that I have been wanting to make Torta de Elote, which would translate into something like corn pie.( It's more of a corn pudding than a pie actually). She loves the stuff!!  Myself, not so fond of that either but I have been wanting to share the recipe and since we're having Thanksgiving at her place I thought it would be a good idea to make it. The only thing is regular Torta de Elote doesn't feel that Thanksgiviny (yes, that's an actual word) so she suggested adding pumpkin to the mix. Her exact words were: "Corn and pumpkin, what's more Thanksgiving than that???" So I thought, what the hell, let's give it a try.

You will need:

1 can sweetened corn
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 stick butter melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree

This is usually made in a blender, fast and simple! Seeing as how when I went to get out my blender a very important part was missing (go figure!) I had to improvise. So I decided to use my food processor instead. It was a bit complicated because you have to blend the corn and milk first and all the liquid was oozing out of the food processor, so I just added all the other stuff at once to see if it would combine better and gave it a whirl.

So in order to make this Torta de Elota you throw your corn and your milk into the food processor blender and whip that up a bit. Then you add all the other ingredients and give it another whip and voila you're done! how easy was that?

Grease a, I would say, 9X12 in. pan, dish, tray, I don't know, whatever you would like to bake it in and pour your corn and pumpkin mixture right in.

Pop it in a 350 degree oven for approx. 45 minutes until it's golden brown. Mine took a bit longer, about 55 minutes just check it and when it's nice and golden pull it out and cool on a wire rack.

Here's a closer look. See... golden!

I'm not sure if you're supposed to serve this warm or let it cool completely, I think it's just a matter of taste. When it's still warm the pudding is more on the soft-almost-bordering-close-to-the-runny side, once you let it cool it will thicken.

I decided to top this off with some cinnamon whipped cream, which is just whipped cream with a little cinnamon, nothing fancy. I think it complimented it really well. It's still not my favorite but it's pretty good and the whipped cream gave it a nice extra oomph.

There are two things I would like to point out. I used the canned pumpkin puree which comes with all the spices so I didn't add any more, if you use homemade pumpkin puree you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to give it that pumpkin pie flavor and of course you can add the amount you like to suit your palate. The other thing is that I wanted a mild pumpkin flavor, I did not want the pumpkin to overpower the corn but instead blend with it and merge the flavors. If you would like to have a more pronounced pumpkin flavor just adjust the puree quantity to taste.  

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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