One of the side benefits of being married to a “foodie” is that I get an opportunity to tag along to many of the events that she participates in. Taking that a step further, it also exposes me to people and groups that I might not normally be aware of. It also exposes them to me and, naturally, tequila. One of those groups is the recently formed Austin Food Blogger Alliance, of which I am now a member. The group held an event this past weekend in which members were invited to make a pie and bring it to share with other attendees – a Pie-Luck, if you will. To add interest, members could also bring a second pie and enter it in a contest, judged by 5 local chefs and food industry people. In addition to gaining bragging rights amongst this savvy group, the winner also would get their pie included on the menu at the Alamo Drafthouse, a local group of theaters that serve a full menu of food and drinks while you watch a movie. As a fundraiser, the theater has teamed up with the AFBA to present a special screening of the movie Waitress and all proceeds from the movie and pie sales will benefit SafePlace, a shelter and resource for victims of domestic violence. (If you’re in the Austin area and would like to support this event, you can purchase your tickets here for this August 21st screening.)
So that’s all well and good, but what does all that have to do with tequila? Pretty simple, actually. One of the things that I have been trying to do more of recently is to incorporate tequila into more recipes. In this case, I wanted to take a pie that I’ve been making for a few years now and tweak it to be something unique. Honestly, it’s the ONLY pie I make, so I didn’t really have a lot of options! Having just returned from a weekend in New Mexico (more on that trip in an upcoming post) the flavors were still fresh and seemed to be a perfect fit with my base pie. Essentually, chocolate, chili powder, cinnamon and tequila – the New Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie. The flavors should hit the palate in waves, from the creamy tequila notes followed by the chocolate and cinnamon and then, moments later, the peppery heat makes its entrance. Thinking I had something fairly unique, I made 2 pies, entered 1 into the contest and of the 10 entries, I took 2nd place, losing out to a pecan pie – not bad for a one-pie tequila hack like me! I’ve included the easy recipe below and hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
New Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie
(You can use a pre-made graham cracker crust, but for this event, I had to make it from scratch)
1 1/4 cups Crushed Graham Crackers
1/3 cup Butter
3 tbls Sugar
1 tsp Chili Powder
Combine the Graham Crackers, sugar and chili powder in a bowl. Melt the butter and slowly pour it into the bowl, mixing until the entire mixture is evenly coated. Press the mixture evenly into a 9″ pie pan and bake for 8 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Remove and let cool before adding filling.
*If you opt for a pre-made crust, take the chili powder and sprinkle it evenly around the crust prior to adding the filling.
2 cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Butter
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
Place chocolate chips, powdered sugar, cinnamon and chili powder into blender and set aside. Combine milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly. When butter is melted and before milk boils, remove from heat and slowly pour into blender. Mix at a low speed to combine all ingredients. Pour into crust and refrigerate until filling solidifies.
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
2 tbsp 1921 Tequila Crema
In a mixing bowl, whip the cream at a medium speed, adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once incorporated, increase speed until cream begins to thicken, then add the Tequila Crema. Continue until evenly incorporated and soft peaks form, but take care to stop before the cream turns into butter.
Decorate the top of the pie with the cream prior to serving or add to each slice after cutting.