According to food writer Paola Briseño-González (who grew up in Puerto Vallarta), Yelapa, a small beach town just down the coast, has been famous for its pies for over a half-century. In fact, slices can be purchased on the beach; you eat them out of hand while standing in the surf.

Since Yelapa did not have electricity (and therefore refrigeration) back in the 1960s, fresh cream was not a common ingredient. So many baked goods rely instead on sweetened condensed milk. Pies, such as banana cream pie, were introduced to the region through the influx of North Americans who worked for large fruit companies.

The local variation on this recipe, besides ditching the fresh cream, also used a blender, a much-loved appliance of convenience in the Mexican kitchen. And since a flaky crust would not work when eating slices of pie on a beach, a shorter, more sturdy hot water crust was in order.

Briseño-González adds her own touch to this local specialty, a brûléed top. It provides an extra bit of crunch that pairs nicely with the bananas. And the result is so good, she told me she even served this pie at her own wedding. ¡Viva Yelapa!