I was resistant to Mexican atole and pinole at first. These thick, gruel-like drinks are typically served with tamales in the morning, and it just seemed like too much of a good thing. Then I learned to love them. Well-made pinole is a real thing of beauty. It fills you up and you don’t really need a jumbo-size cup to be happy.
There are lots of ways to make this drink, but this method shows off the rare blue corn flavor. If you aren’t feeding a crowd, save the leftovers and gently reheat as needed.
- 1 cup Rancho Gordo heirloom blue corn pinole
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 cups water
- Rancho Gordo granulated piloncillo or sugar (optional)
- Small pinch of salt (optional)
- In a large bowl or measuring cup, combine the pinole and milk and stir until completely smooth. There should be no lumps.
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. When it is boiling, slowly stream in the pinole-milk mixture while stirring constantly. Continuing to stir, return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring constantly, for about 40 minutes. The mixture should have the consistency of a thin porridge. If it is too thin, turn up the heat a little. If it is too thick, add a little water or milk.
- Taste and adjust the flavor with sugar, if needed. I like to add just a hint of salt. Pour into mugs and enjoy.
Variation: Grate about 2 tablespoons Rancho Gordo stoneground chocolate into the pan once the pinole is cooked and stir until incorporated.