Mexican chocolate is one of those things that just proves how awesome Mexican food is. I mean, whoever decided to add cacao nibs, spices, and chiles to chocolate was basically the first hipster chocolate maker. And it's a flavor combination that just wins again and again. Mole? Use Mexican chocolate. For hot chocolate? It's so good! But it's hard to top using it in pie.
So, for our Day Of The Dead celebration, the first thing we thought to make was this Spiced Mexican Chocolate Coconut Pie Recipe. Made with salted graham cracker crust, a chocolate-y black bottom, and a cinnamon-cayenne chocolate coconut custard, it's pure genius. And, of course, it's delicious well beyond Day Of The Dead!
crumbs (from about 20 full cracker sheets)
or coconut oil
(about 3 cups)
plus more for garnish
(use more or less for medium or subtle spice)
For the crust: Melt the butter or coconut oil and mix with cookie crumbs and the pinch of salt until thoroughly moistened. Transfer to an 9-inch pie plate and, using the back of a cup or measuring cup, press mixture into the pan, evenly covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Set in freezer until set, at least 10 minutes.
To make cookie crumbs, place cookies in a food processor and process until broken up into crumbs. Crust can be made through this step up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
For the chocolate: Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a small pan over very low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. (Alternatively, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted.) Pour chocolate into the crust and, using the back of a spoon, quickly spread the chocolate over the crust in a thin layer. Return crust to the freezer to set up, at least 10 minutes.
The crust can be made through this step up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
Make the coconut pudding: Meanwhile, combine coconut milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cocoa powder, cinnamon, espresso powder, cayenne, the vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and just bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place cornstarch in a small bowl then gradually whisk in a few spoonfuls of water until smooth. As soon as the coconut is scalded and just boils, immediately reduce heat to low, stir in the cornstarch mixture into the coconut milk mixture, and cook until it has thickened enough that it looks like yogurt, about 1 more minute. Pour hot coconut custard into the pie crust and refrigerate until set and cooled, at least 4 hours.
The coconut pudding can be made through this step up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.
To assemble: When the pie is thoroughly chilled, prepare the topping. Place cream in a large, clean bowl and whip with a clean whisk until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and rum, and whip until cream is just thick enough to hold onto the whisk. Spread whipped cream evenly over the top of the pie. Top with with toasted coconut and some ground cinnamon and serve.
Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Top with toasted coconut just before serving.