This Crema Pastelera is not like the traditional recipes you’ll find online. Unlike those recipes, this one came from my own grandmother Titita Tere. Her recipe is special in the way that it does not use eggs, and what makes it even more special is the fact that she used this exact recipe for the pastries that she once sold at La Española, the bakery she opened the same year my mother was born and the way that she was able to put all of her six children through college financially when my grandfather died at age 50.
I wanted to use her recipe in a non-traditional way by serving it alongside poached pears. The beginning of fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the way everything begins to slow down, and much like nature, things are beginning to feel a bit heavier, like ripe fruit hanging from a skinny tree branch. This dessert recipe is a perfect representation of the start of the new season. The warmth from the cinnamon Poached Pears against the chilled sweetness of the Crema Pastelera will remind you of sunny crisp fall days.
We can assume everyone in America knows about cornbread, and believe me, I love cornbread. But Torta de Elote brings a whole new perspective I bet you haven’t tried before. While cornbread is crumbly and a bit dry until it’s blanketed in warm butter, Torta de Elote is sticky and perfectly versatile. In this recipe, I opted for the more traditional way of eating it, which is alongside Carne de Puerco con Rajas en Salsa de Tomate. The cake is served on the side with a bath of sauce, a slice of Ranchero Queso Fresco, a Raja (poblano pepper strip), and sour cream. The sweetness of the corn cake pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the pork and provides a savoriness that ties the two dishes together. What I love is that there are always leftovers of this cake, which are perfectly served alongside a black cup of coffee the next morning as breakfast.