Margarita Meringue Pie
It wasn’t 3D, but my pie was a success anyway. The margarita pie, anyway – no comment on the pomegranate meringue, I didn’t get enough juice out of the pomes I bought to call it a fair trial. Next time, I’ll just buy the straight-up juice. The Meyer lemon meringue was adequate, but I think that pie has suffered, the past couple years, from a lack of good Meyer lemons. There’s nothing quite like having a tree at your disposal.
Anyway: below the fold, my recipe for margarita meringue pie!
This recipe is adapted from the lemon meringue pie recipe in The New Best Recipe which is my standard cookbook for staple dishes. They really do have the best recipes. Unless you’re cooking for vegans, or trying to be healthy, because usually “best” means “contains an awful lot of butter”.
- 1 9″ pie crust. Various people on the Internet advocate pretzel-graham cracker crusts, I just bought a premade graham cracker one, because I am lazy.
- For the filling:
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. corn starch
- 1/8 t. salt
- 1/2 c. prickly pear juice – if you’re working with fresh fruit, wear thick gloves, burn off the thorns while you’re still outside or you’ll have weensy pain stabbers all over your kitchen for a week, peel, and throw ’em in a pot until they cook down. Run through a strainer. A half-dozen fruits will give you more than enough juice.
- 1/4 c. cheap, nasty tequila
- Zest from 6-8 limes – yes, this is many times the amount of zest called for by other recipes (including the New Best). Suck it up and buy the limes, this is what prevents your pie from being an insipid clone of every other goddamn oversweetened custard pie in the universe. And as I’ve found with my Meyer lemon meringue, quality matters; if your local farmers market doesn’t sell citrus, move.
- 1/2 – 1 c. lime juice
- Water, enough for 2 c. total fluid
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 T. butter
- For the meringue:
- 1 T. corn starch
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/4 t. cream of tartar
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 t. vanilla (or, if you are not making a huge batch of meringue for many different pies, try something more appropriate, like tequila)
- A hefty pinch of lime zest
Filling: Mix sugar, starch, salt, all the water, and enough of the misc. other juices to make 1 1/2 c. total liquid in a pan. Bring to a simmer, whisking, until it starts to turn translucent. Then, whisk in the eggs yolks 2 at a time, then the zest, the rest of your liquids, and the butter. If you fucked up and forgot to swap out some of the initial water for lime juice, like I did, add some more corn starch. Bring the whole batch to a simmer, cover with plastic wrap, and remove from the heat. Turn your oven to 325.
Meringue: Mix starch and water; simmer and stir until it turns translucent. Mix cream of tartar and sugar; beat the egg whites and vanilla until frothy, then start adding bits of the sugar mixture, while beating, until it forms soft peaks. Add the cornstarch a bit at a time, still beating, until it forms stiff peaks.
If the filling has cooled, heat it up; this is what prevents the bottom of the meringue from being undercooked and runny. Pour the hot filling into the pie shell, and spread on the meringue. Garnish with lime zest. Bake for 20 min. or so, until meringue is golden brown.
I’ve been challenged to bring durian pie to next year’s Thanksgiving. I don’t think it’ll be a meringue – durian paste is apparently often adulterated with pumpkin, which suggests that a pumpkin pie recipe base might be the way to go. But the margarita pie was sufficiently well-liked that I’ll probably be exploring other cocktail meringue pies: tequila sunrise meringue? Mojito meringue? Sex on the meringue? Long Island iced meringue? Hmm.