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Pastel Lupita de tortillas y huitlacoche

Por Kirsten West

After the surprising discovery of the life-story of the amazing Mexican actress Lupita Tovar, it inspired me to create this lasagna-like luscious casserole, a variation of what is called Moctezuma’s Pie or Budin Azteca.

To learn about Lupita’s amazing story, go to my blog and find the article “Hollywood and Moctezuma’s Pie”.

Use only fresh huitlacoche (corn mushroom), which is available in Mexican markets during the rainy season. However, because of its newfound popularity, mushroom cultivators in Mexico have begun to produce it all year round.

Serves 6

You need a 4-quart Mexican clay cazuela or 9×13-inches deep lasagna pan or large cast iron pot

12-16             corn tortillas -15 cm (6 inches), depending on your pan. For best results use tortillas from the market vendors that are made from nixtamal  vegetable oil for frying, 1-inch deep in a small 8 inch pan

150 gr. onions (1 med), coarsely chopped, about 1 cup

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 kg             tomatoes (about 10 medium), cored and cut into quarters

500 gr. huitlacoche (about 4 cups), remove as much of the corn silk as possible

2 chile jalapeño, or to taste, chopped into 4-5 pieces.

250 gr. corn (2 cups) fresh or frozen

8 – 10            epazote leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)

salt to taste

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil (divided use)

200 gr. requeson or ricotta (1½ cups)

250 gr. crema or sour cream (1 cup)

salt to taste

350 gr. chicken, cooked and  shredded (2 cups loosely packed), thigh meat or a rotisserie chicken

You can also use fried chorizo or leave meat out for a vegetarian version

250 gr.            asadero cheese, grated (about 2 cups), or any melting cheese, such as Monterey Jack

Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large 12-inch pan. Add the chopped onions and fry, stirring from time to time until they start to brown.  Add the garlic, and cook a few more minutes. Transfer to a blender jar. Add

the tomato pieces, jalapeño chile and a teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth.

Reheat the pan you used for frying the onions (no need to wash it) and add the tomato purée. Cook this sauce until it thickens slightly, stirring frequently, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sauce to a bowl and set

aside. You should have about 4 cups of sauce.

Rinse and dry your pan and reheat on a medium high flame with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the huitlacoche and corn kernels and cook until the huitlacoche is soft while stirring frequently. This can take 12 – 15 minutes. Add the epazote, stir into the huitlacoche mixture, season with salt to taste and set aside.

Place the requeson and crema in a blender and process until smooth. If the requeson is on the dry side, drizzle in a little water to make sure the blades of your blender move freely and the mixture has the consistency of heavy whipping cream.

Heat the oil for the tortillas over medium-high heat in a deep small frying 8–inch pan, I prefer to fry one tortilla at a time, they only take a few seconds on each side to soften. I use tongues for turning them over. They should not be crisp. Lay them on paper towels to blot off excess oil.

Assembling the pie.

Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce into your baking dish to cover the bottom evenly.

Top with 4 tortillas, then layer with ½ of the huitlacoche mixture, ½ of the shredded chicken (if used or chorizo) Spread 1/3 of the ricotta/crema over it and 1/3 of the grated cheese and another cup of tomato sauce. Cover with 4 more tortillas and repeat the above layering. Then cover with the last layer of tortillas, topping them off with the last cup of tomato sauce, requeson/crema mixture and grated cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubling and lightly browned.

Let the pie rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting into serving slices.


All the different fillings (tomato sauce, huitlacoche mixture, crema/requeson mix and shredded chicken or chorizo) can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Make sure to taste all fillings for salt.

Assemble pie only before ready to bake.

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