High Country Baking: Strawberry margarita freezer pie
High Country Baking
A frozen strawberry margarita in a pie shell — what could be better on a summer evening or following a spicy meal? Refreshing, cool and creamy, it’s a crowd-pleaser with a mild strawberry flavor enhanced by the addition of triple sec, lime and tequila.
Crush the graham crackers into crumbs in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. If you don’t have one, break the crackers up, place them in a plastic bag, close the bag and smash them with a rolling pin or a small, heavy pot. A premade commercial graham cracker crust can replace the homemade one. Since the filling has star billing, the pie will still be good.
Don’t be tempted to increase the amount of alcohol; too much of it will keep the filling from freezing.
Strawberry margarita freezer pie
Make in a 9-inch pie pan or a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch high sides
- 1 1/3 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 11 2 1/2 by 4 1/4 inch crackers)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar, preferably Baker’s
- 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pound fresh or frozen hulled strawberries, partially thawed if frozen
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lime zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 2 tablespoons triple sec
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, cold
- Fresh strawberries
1. Place a metal or glass mixing bowl and the beaters for your electric mixer in the freezer to chill (cream whips more quickly if these are cold).
2. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Generously grease the pan with butter. Whisk the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together until blended. Add 5 tablespoons of the melted butter and toss/stir with a fork until uniformly moistened. Pinch some between your fingers. It should just hold together. If it doesn’t, add another 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, stir/toss and test again. If necessary, add the last 1/2 tablespoon melted butter (take care, the crust will be hard and difficult to cut if too much butter is used).
3. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan so the crust is about 3/16 of an inch thick and, if using a springform pan, extends about 2 inches up the sides. You may have some left over if using a pie pan. Bake until the crust is firm and aromatic, about 10 minutes. Move to a rack and cool completely.
4. Make the filling: Add the berries, lime zest and juice, sweetened condensed milk, tequila and triple sec to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and set aside.
5. Remove the chilled bowl and beaters from the freezer, add the cold whipping cream to the bowl and beat until it holds stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture, fold in half of the remaining whipped cream and then the rest of it. Try not to deflate the whipped cream as you add it. Pour and scrape the filling into the cooled crust (you may not use it all if you have a shallow pie pan or are using a commercial crust), smooth the top and freeze uncovered until it’s firm (at least 5 hours). If you’re not serving the pie immediately, cover it with plastic wrap or foil and leave it in freezer for as many as days.
6. If using a springform pan, remove the pie by wetting a kitchen towel with hot water and quickly rubbing the pan side to warm it and soften the filling a little. Then unlock and remove the side and serve the pie on the pan bottom. If topping the dessert, halve fresh strawberries and place them decoratively around top. To serve, cut with a thin, sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried between cuts. Let the slices rest until they soften very slightly before bringing them to the table.
Editor’s note: This recipe is a variation of one published in Gourmet Magazine.
Vera Dawson’s column “High Country Baking” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks. Her recipes have been tested in her kitchen in Frisco, where she’s lived since 1991, and altered until they work at elevation. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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