Pastelera de choclo is a traditional Chilean dish that combines elements of both savory and sweet flavors. The base of the dish is made from ground fresh corn, creating a thick dough-like consistency; it is often mixed with butter, salt, basil, and sometimes sugar for flavor. The assembled Pastelera de choclo is baked until the corn pudding becomes golden brown and has a firm texture.
Pastelera de choclo is often served hot, straight from the oven. It can be accompanied by a simple side salad or pebre, a traditional Chilean condiment made from tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and chili peppers.
This recipe honors one of my family traditions. On January 1st, we start the year by making Humitas Chilean tamales (made with fresh corn and no filling) and Pastel de Choclo corn pie. All family members (including my uncles, children, etc.) did the corn peeling, grating, sorting the corn leaves (husks) by size, grinding meat, chopping onions, etc. This Chilean corn pudding captures all the flavors with a lot less labor.
What variety of corn is traditionally used?
The Pastelera is made with Humeros corn. This variety of corn is widespread in Chile but very difficult to find in other countries. Humero corn has irregular kernels. If the rows of the grain are neat, it is not the correct one.
The husk is hard. When you prick the corn, whitish milk comes out. Use fresh; don’t store it for more than ten days. The corn dries out and loses its consistency.
I recommend using frozen corn (yellow whole kernel) and adding cornmeal to thicken and improve the flavor while cooking the corn paste. The corn in the US is sweeter because it is a different variety.
Cornmeal works better than cornstarch and polenta. Never add sugar to the mix.
Do not use the Peruvian giant frozen corn available at Latin supermarkets. It will not work here.
Can I plant Chilean corn in the US?
Yes, you can follow the same calendar as the US corn varieties. Here, you can buy seeds.
Can I use canned corn, and what basil should I buy in the US?
I do not recommend using canned corn. It has more water than frozen corn. If you do not have an option, calibrate it with cornmeal to achieve the correct texture.
You have to be careful with basil. Thai basils have a lot of anise flavors. I recommend using Sweet basil or Genovese (in moderation). Taste the basil before adding it to the corn paste.Print
- 1 bag of frozen corn (454 grams), my favorite brand here is super sweet corn HEB has better color and texture than the others I’ve tried.
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter (60 grams) at room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper
- 5 leaves of sweet basil chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F or 200C.
- Cook the corn in bags or as directed, reducing cooking time by half.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. The process to a coarse paste, you still want to see bits of corn.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a stick bury in the middle comes out clean.
- Serve hot.
You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Vegetables
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Chilean
Keywords: Pastelera de Choclo, Chilean Corn Pudding