GEORGE’S® Margarita Refrigerator Pie

This pie is proof that some ideas you get on tequila night are worth seeing through.  I’m a late-to-the-party huge margarita fan … the zing of fresh squeezed lime juice, the deep orange essence of Cointreau, the distinctive taste of blanco tequila along with the crunch of salt as you work your way around the glass… and there is a place for the homemade version, always.  But on those days when I don’t have the time or inkling, a bottle of GEORGE’S® Margarita Mix is a right proper choice.  What, I’m guessing you’re asking, does this have to do with pie?

GO TO RECIPE

It started with a tequila night thought, natch. Don’t you think (sip, sip) this George’s margarita mix (sip, sip) would work in a key lime-esque pie (sip, sip) topped with some crunchy salt?! (sip, sip).  Why, yes, yes, I do think that’s a great idea. (No sip, sip!)  And since we’re out of tequila and our go-to key lime pie recipe from Joe’s Stone Crabs has a wonderful texture – not too eggy or wobbly (I have custard issues) – let’s try it with the last of the George’s.

Well, viola!  It is absolutely fantastic!  A slice of pie, fresh whipped cream and crunchy Maldon sea salt added just before eating… is a thing of amazement.  Don’t get me wrong, I bow to the fabulousness of an over-ice (not a frozen margs fan) margarita made with a top-shelf tequila that transports me to my very first mind-blowing agave cocktail at Topolobampo lo those many years ago and has wiped away the nightmare Andora tequila memories – I shudder – of a few years prior to that, but this Margarita pie is an awesome treat that holds its own in fine company.

If you just want to drink George’s margs, you won’t be selling your evening short, but the dessert table will be a bit sadder for it.  If you do make this pie, please let me know.  I love civilized commentary.  Cheers and happy baking!

This pie is so easy to make, you’ll be surprised by the flavor you get with so little effort.  To wit: 1) Whiz up the crust ingredient and lightly press into a buttered pie plate. 2) Whiz up the filling ingredients and pour into the crust. 3) Bake. 4) Refrigerate.  5) Wait (preferably overnight) … okay, this part is kind of difficult but your impatience will be repaid unkindly with a runny pie.  You have been warned.  5) Top with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of Maldon just before serving.  Done.  Enjoy a margarita while you wait.

The locusts prefer their pie sans whipped cream and salt.  They are under 21 so it’s understandable.  You of-age folks, dollop and sprinkle.  It’s worth the extra step of whipping the cream.  Of course, if you’re considering the tub topping, forego and just sprinkle the salt.  There’s a time and place for that stuff, in molded Jello salads maybe, but not here.  If you use the tub stuff, I will not vouch for the deliciousness of this recipe.

Since I’m on my ingredient high horse (a very tired horse I have to admit), I am generally a fan of homemade first and foremost.  For some ingredients, if homemade isn’t possible, I’ll take a pass.  But for margaritas, and bloody marys for that matter, George’s® mixes are top shelf in the prepared mixes world.  Full disclosure, my brother Gregory David and the amazing wonder twins (literally identical twins) Theda and Alex, are the creators/owners of George’s® but fear not that my opinion has been bought!  I buy my bottles from the store just like everyone else.  It just happens to be a great product created by people who care about what they’re putting out there.  You can check out their website for where to buy their mixes near you.  Okie-doke… my standard-issue blah blah has been given, disclosure has been … disclosed.  All that’s left is the recipes.  So here goes …. Cheers, dears and happy desserting!

GEORGE’S® Margarita Refrigerator Pie (Adapted from Joe’s Stone Crab Key Lime Pie recipe)

INGREDIENTS
Crust:
5 oz. plain graham crackers (not sugared or cinnamon sugar)
1/3 cup sugar
5 Tbs melted butter (if unsalted, add ¼ tsp Kosher or sea salt)

Filling:
3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp grated lime zest
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cups GEORGE’S® Margarita Mix (shaken)

Whipped Cream/Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup (or to taste) confectioners sugar (aka powdered sugar/10x)
Maldon (or similar) large-flake crunchy sea salt (NOT kosher, table, or sea salt)

Preheat the oven to 350F with rack in the center of the oven.

Butter (or spray with non-stick) a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.

In the bowl of a food process, crumble in the graham crackers and add the sugar.  Pulse until it’s the texture of dry sand.  Slowly add the melted butter while the food processor is running until completely incorporated.  If you don’t have a food processor, put the graham crackers into a gallon-sized freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin (or similar) until you get a sandy texture.  Add the butter to the bag, close and using your hands, knead until incorporated.

Pour the crust mixture into the prepped pie plate and using the bottom of a measuring cup or similar flat-bottomed implement, gently tamp the crumbs evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Stop pressing the crumbs once they are even and stay in place.  Over-smashing can lead to a very hard crust.  If that’s your druther, of course, feel free.

Put the prepared crust into the oven and bake for 8 minutes.  Cool on a rack while you make the filling.

To make the filling, combine the egg yolks and lime zest in the mixer bowl with a whisk attachment.  On medium-high speed (Kitchen Aid 6) whisk for 5 minutes or until fluffy and light in color.  This can be done with a hand mixer or by hand with a whisk (you stud); just keep going until the eggs/lime zest are light and fluffy.

Stop the mixer and add in the sweetened condensed milk and whisk on medium-high (Kitchen Aid 6)for 3-4 minutes until thick and fluffy. If by hand mixer or hand, look for that same consistency.

Stop the mixer and add the GEORGE’S® Margarita Mix.  Whisk just until incorporated.

Pour the filling mix into the pie crust and carefully put into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes.  There will be a slight wiggle.  If it seems wet, bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.  When done, remove from the oven and cool on a rack until room temperature.  Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap (carefully make it taut so it doesn’t stick to the pie top).  Refrigerate until completely cool, approximately 4-5 hours though overnight is best.

When you are ready to serve, whip the cream and powdered sugar together (stand mixer, hand mixer or whisk) until you get stiff peaks.  Decorate the top of the pie with as much or little (is that a thing?) of the whipped cream.

As you serve each piece, sprinkle a healthy pinch of crunchy salt to replicate a salted rim.  Not required but really does add something.

Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator for a day or two.  Longer would probably require freezing though I’ve never had a pie last that long so this is an anecdotal suggestion.

Please let me know what you think

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