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Piloncillo Pecan Pie

This recipe can be found at El Restaurante. 

Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Jan Mendelson, La Puerta Azul in Millbrook, New York

The Filling:

2 c. pecans

2 T. butter

1 lb. piloncillo

4 eggs

1 c. melted unsalted butter

2 T. ancho chile powder

2 T. cornstarch

4 T. heavy cream

4 t. vanilla extract

The Crust:

¾ c. flour

½ t. kosher salt

1 T. sugar

10 T. cold butter diced

½ c. flour

3 T. very cold water + 1 T. white vinegar

Combine ¾ cup flour, salt, sugar, and butter in processor until the texture of coarse cornmeal.  Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse briefly to combine. Sprinkle with cold water/vinegar and pulse to combine. Do not over process. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least ½ hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small oven proof pan, add pecans, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until fragrant and lightly toasted.  Reserve.

Increase oven temperature to 350°F.

Grate piloncillo on a coarse box grater.  Combine piloncillo, eggs, butter, ancho chile, cornstarch, cream and vanilla in blender and puree until smooth.

Roll out crust (using a little extra flour as needed to prevent sticking) to about a 13-inch circle approximately 1/8-inch thick. Line a 9-inch-deep tart or pie pan with the crust.  Place pecans in the pie shell. Pour piloncillo custard into shell over nuts.

Bake approximately 40 to 45 minutes at 350°F.  Custard should be just set in the middle; if not, continue baking, in approximately 5 minute increments, until set.  Let cool completely before cutting.

Cut in 8 wedges, and serve lightly warmed, and topped with vanilla ice cream.


El Restaurante

El Restaurante magazine was founded in 1997, and is read by over 25,000 owners and managers of Mexican and Latin restaurants in the United States. The magazine is published five times per year by Maiden Name Press, LLC in Chicago, Illinois.

El Restaurante also publishes a monthly e-newsletter, eMex, and maintains the popular website

El Restaurante is edited by Kathleen Furore, a veteran journalist. She has been the editor since the magazine was founded. Kathleen can be reached at 708-267-0023 or

For advertising information, please contact publisher Ed Avis at or 708-218-7755.


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