Horchata Custard Pie

I really can’t even hear the word horchata without thinking of that Vampire Weekend song. And even though that song seems to be about winter, I guess I got into that album in the summertime one year because the song always makes me think of summer. That may have been part of the inspiration for this recipe idea, in fact. Well, that and this is pretty similar to buttermilk pie, which is one of my favorites. 🙂

If you’ve never had horchata before, it’s a sweet, spicy milk mixture that is often made with or served with rum. Sort of the cool cousin of a White Russian, I guess. So of course that already sounds like a great basis for a dessert, right? And then if you’ve never had buttermilk pie before, it’s a custard-based pie made with tangy buttermilk (and still plenty of sugar, so it balances). So this feels very similar, but with more cinnamon and a few more flavors. And if that didn’t get you excited for this pie, I don’t know what will! I’m sort of wishing I had another piece right now.

Add a little fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to the top and you’re in business!

Horchata Custard Pie, makes one

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
3-4 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup horchata (recipe to follow)
2 tablespoons flour

First, make the crust. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and use a pastry blender or your clean hands to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. It should look like small grains or pebbles. Then add in 3 tablespoons of cold water and try to press the dough into a ball. If the mixture seems too crumbly to stay in a ball, then add another tablespoon of cold water. Once a dough ball forms, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to three days. I usually make my pie crust a day or two ahead of time, so it feels like less work on the day I make the pie.

While that chills, you can make the horchata. I used a variation of this Martha Stewart recipe, basically cutting it in half and upping the flavor some. First, I heated 2 cups of whole milk with 2 cinnamon sticks until very hot (but not boiling) Then remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup almond flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour, then strain with a fine mesh strainer. This will make twice as much horchata as you need for this recipe, but it’s difficult to make such a small amount. Plus, why not have a little extra you can mix with rum and ice for a fun cocktail later? 🙂

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt. Stir in the eggs one at a time, incorporating each well. Then whisk in the 1 cup of horchata and 2 tablespoons of flour. Roll out the pie crust and add to a pie pan that has been lightly buttered and dusted with flour. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork. Then pour the batter in.

Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to bake for 45-50 minutes. The pie will puff some by the time it’s done, but it will flatten back out as it cools.

Allow to cool before trying to slice and serve. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
  • Just fyi that is not horchata, it is leche merengada. Horchata comes, well, from the tiger nut so can’t be “made up” . Both are a summer drink in Spain so the season is correct tho!

    • Just what I was thinking while reading this! Buuuuut… I’m from Mexico and here the horchata is made with rice 😛 (Spanish horchata sounds delicious though!). And the recipe sounds delicious too 😀

  • This pie looks delicious and I’m sure it would be delicious as well with the horchata we make in Valencia (Spain). As Irene said above, we make this drink with tiger nuts, water and sugar, so it’s similar to the one you’re explaining in the recipe, but it’s difficult to make at home 🙂 I think I’ll try to do this recipe with our horchata and see what happens! hahaha

  • Sorry this is totally unrelated to your awesome post…but are you still using BlogLovin to share your posts. The last 3 posts haven’t loaded! I hate to miss any of your posts.

  • Oooh looks divine! This made me craaaave pie. <3 I've never heard of horchata before and to be honest, by what the flavors sound like I probably wouldn't like it alone. But incorporated into a pie? That might just tell a different story. Hahaha 'cause this looks GREAT.
    Have a good rest of the week. xo

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

  • When I saw the header I thought immediately of Vampire Weekend! That whole album was excellent. The pie looks yummy yummy! Husband is a big fan of White Russians á la Lebowski, so I bet he’d like this!


  • this sounds delicious! although I must say that this is not what we call horchata in Valencia (Spain), where it actually comes from. Traditional horchata is made with tigernuts. You have to wash them, soak them overnight, and then press them with sugar and water to release the juice. You should try it if you are ever in Spain 😉

  • Wow, I’m Mexican, from the Yucatan Penninsula, and have never heard of hortacha being a milk drink. We make it from rice or sometimes almond milk/water and it’s a sweet but refreshing drink, not alcoholic.

    Anyway, this pie looks awesome, I’d love to try it.

  • I made this EXACTLY as the recipe said and you probably could’ve gotten away with only using two eggs because that’s basically all it tastes like.

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