Thursday, May 28, 2009
Coming of Age Dessert
One of the factoids about myself that I like to put into those "how well do you know Lynn" quizzes is that I've worked as a bartender. Now, you might be getting a certain mental image with that. Put that image on hold while I tell you that at the time, I was 16. How did I do that? Where can you work as a bartender at sixteen? Well, in a dry state.
One of my first jobs was working at a dinner theater. I had the job of plating salads and desserts (and by plating, I mean slopping them onto a plate - nothing artistic involved), and then putting together set-ups for the patrons' drink orders. The patrons would then have to go buy mini-bottles of liquor, the kind they sell on airplanes, and pour those into their set-ups to make a fully leaded drink.
So for a long time, although I knew how to make a set-up for a greyhound, a screwdriver, or a strawberry margarita, I had no clue what kind of alcohol went into them.
The strawberry margarita was kind of a house speciality. We had buckets of sliced strawberries in sugar syrup and we'd scoop some into the blender along with some ice, blend it to the consistency of a Slurpee, pour it into a tall glass, and add a slice of lime for a garnish. Ta da! Virgin Margarita.
This pie combines two of my skills from that job - drinks + dessert. Or drinks in dessert. And there's definitely booze involved. If you have kids around, they'll want a slice of this cool, creamy dessert. Have some strawberry ice cream on hand to placate them, because this is definitely a dessert for grown-ups only.
You can tell I didn't let it freeze overnight. The center was a bit on the deliciously oozy side. No one minded a bit.
Strawberry Margarita Pie
2 c. hulled fresh strawberries
10 tbsp. sugar
1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
7 tbsp. tequila
6 tbsp. Triple Sec
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 c. chilled whipping cream
8 fresh strawberries (opt.)
Butter 9 inch springform pan. You can use a deep pie plate, if a springform pan is unavailable. Toss 2 cups strawberries with 4 tablespoons sugar in small bowl. Blend remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, cracker crumbs and butter in processor. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of pan.
Puree strawberries and sugar with milk, tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice in blender or processor. Transfer to large bowl. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of cream into puree. Gently fold in remaining cream. Pour filling into crust. Cover and freeze until firm, preferably overnight.
Run hot sharp knife around pan sides to loosen if necessary. Release pan sides. Cut pie into wedges. Top each wedge with strawberry, if desired.