A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 03, 2006
Margarita Pie

The Margarita pie is the edible version of that famous drink, the Margarita cocktail. While the Margarita cocktail may have Texas origins in the 1940s, the Margarita pie origins are unknown. The first Margarita pie citations appear in 1967.


10 October 1967, Winnipeg Free Press, “Cooking With Norah Cherry,” pg. 16:
MARGARITA PIE
Crust
3/4 cup pretzel crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
Filling
4 lemons
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
5 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons triple sec sherry
5 egg whites
7 tablespoons sugar

To make crust: Crush whole pretzels with rolling pin. Measure 3/4 cup crumbs. Combine crumbs and sugar. Gradually add melted butter, stirring until blended. Reserve two tablespoon crumb mixture for garnish. Press remaining mixture firmly against sides and bottom of well-buttered nine-inch pie plate. Chill.

To prepare filling: Slice one lemon into thin crosswise slices; reserve for garnish. Grate one teaspoon rind from remaining lemons. Squeeze juice from lemons to yield seven tablespoons. Soften gelatin in lemon juice five minutes. Beat egg yolks in top of double broiler; blend in 1/2 cup sugar, salt and lemon rind. Add gelatin; place over boiling water. Stirring constantly, cook until slightly thickened and gelatin dissolved, about seven to 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl; blend in liquors. Chill in refrigerator, stirring frequently until cold to touch. (Mixture must not be too thick.) Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add seven tablespoons sugar, beating to stiff meringue. Fold yolk mixture, one-third at a time, into meringue. Spoon into chilled crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Cut each reserved lemon slice from centre only to edge. Twist cut edges in opposite directions and arrange around pie. Chill until firm. Yield: one nine-inch pie to serve six to eight.

20 December 1967, Long Beach (CA) Independent-Press-Telegram, “Try Margarita Pie: Sure It Has Tequila,” pg. F20:
MARGARITA PIE
1 pretzel crumb crust
4 California lemons
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg yolks, beaten
5 tbsp tequila
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp triple sec
5 egg whites
7 tbsp sugar

Prepare pretzel crumb crust; chill. Slice 1 lemon into think cartwheel: Reserve for garnish. Grate 1 teaspoon peel from remaining lemons, then squeeze to yield 7 tablespoons lemon juice. Soften gelatine in lemon juice 5 minutes.

Beat egg yolks in top of double boiler; blend in 1/2 cup sugar, salt and lemon peel. Add gelatin mixture; place over boiling water. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and gelatin is thoroughly dissolved, about 7 minutes, immediately transfer to bowl; thoroughly blend in liquors. Chill in refrigerator or over ice water, stirring frequently, until just cold to the touch. (Mixture should not be too thick.) Beat egg whites just to soft peak stage; add 7 tablespoons sugar gradually, continue beating at high speed until all sugar is used.

Whites should be glossy and moist and tips of peaks should fall over slightly when beater is withdrawn. Carefully fold yolk mixture, about one-third at a time, into whites. Spoon into chilled crust; sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Cut each reserved lemon slice from center only to edge. Twist cut edged in opposite directions and arrange around pie. Chill until firm.

Note: For a perfect pie, it is important for the custard to be cold, but still thin and the egg whites not overbeaten before combining.

Pretzel Crumb Crust
3/4 cup pretzel crumbs (or 8 tbsps each pretzel crumbs and crushed vanilla wafers)
3 tbsps sugar
5 tbsps melted butter or margarine

Crush pretzels with rolling pin. Combine crumbs and sugar; add melted butter gradually, stirring until well blended. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish. Press remaining mixture firmly against bottom and sides of well buttered 9-inch pie plate. Chill.

16 June 1971, Chicago Tribune, “Margarita Pie for Tart Tastes” by Mary Meade, pg. B4:
IT WAS bound to come, the margarita pie. It’s the logical successor to the grasshopper pie, for the margarita cocktail has replaced the sweeter grasshopper, as our taste has gradually changed from sweet to tart.

MARGARITA PIE
Pretzel crust:
3/4 cup finely crushed pretzel crumbs or half pretzel crumbs and half vanilla wafer crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
Margarita cocktail filling:
1 envelope [1 tablespoon] plain gelatin
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon peel
7 tablespoons lemon juice
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons triple sec
7 tablespoons sugar for egg whites
1 lemon, unpeeled, sliced very thin

To make crust, combine crumbs and sugar, add butter and mix well. Save 2 tablespoons for garnish and press remainder onto bottom and sides of well buttered 9-inch pie plate. Chill.

Soften gelatin in lemon peel and juice for 5 minutes. Beat egg yolks in top of double boiler until very thick; beat in 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add gelatin and lemon and cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Transfer immediately to a bowl. Thoroly blend in the liquors. Chill over ice water, stirring frequently, until just cold to the touch. Mixture should not be too thick.

Meanwhile beat egg whites to soft peaks and gradually beat in the 7 tablespoons sugar at high speed until all sugar is used. Whites should be glossy and moist but hold peak. Carefully fold yolk mixture, a third at a time, into whites. Spoon into chilled crust, sprinkle with reserved crumbs and make twists of the lemon slices around the edge of the pie. Chill.

3 October 1971, Los Angeles Times, “Have Your Cocktail in a Pie” by Barbara Hansen, pg. O46:
Now you can drink your Margarita and eat it, too, for the popular Mexican cocktail has been turned into a pie. As a dessert, it has all the tang, fresh lime flavor and appeal of the liquid version. That is because you make the Margarita Pie with the same ingredients: tequila, orange-flavored liqueur and lime juice, with the added boost of grated lime peel. Egg yolks and gelatin give the mixture substance. And the addition of fluffy egg whites makes it as light and pleasant as a vacation mood.
(...)
MARGARITA PIE
1 env. unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime peel
1/3 cup tequila
2 tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur
1 baked 9-in. pie shell
Mix gelatin, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan. Beat egg yolks and lime juice together and add to gelatin mixture. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime peel, tequila and liqueur. Chill over ice water or in refrigerator until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. Beat egg whites until stiff and beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Fold whites into gelatin mixture. Turn filling into pie shell and chill until firm. Garnish with lime twists and whipped cream poufs, if wanted. Pie is best when served the same day it is made.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, December 03, 2006 • Permalink