It’s 5 pm somewhere. Wait a sec…it’s 5 pm here! That means it’s a perfect time to eat your margarita. It is Sunday after all, and time to reel it in from the weekend.
Today is my mother’s birthday, and she would have turned 85. In her honor, I am posting one of the recipes that makes me think of her. Nina was not a cook by any stretch, but she had some go-tos. This was one of them, for some obvious reasons, of equal import. First, it is easy. Second, it involves margaritas. Third, it is delicious.
This is similar to luscious Lemon Beach Pie, a cold, lemony affair with a saltine crust. On a really hot day, however, this is even better because it involves zero cooking. For those of you techies who own a working microwave, you can melt the butter in that and have no relationship whatsoever with the stove.
There are many versions of this, all good I am sure, including some imposters with a hybrid graham cracker/pretzel crust. They are probably delicious as well, but when it comes to Margarita Pie I’m a purist. It has to be all pretzel. The recipe gives you the option to use Cool Whip or whipped cream. No judgment, but know that it will then be sweeter and, well, Cool Whippy. If that’s your thing, enjoy the convenience.
See notes below for bringing it, and don’t be afraid to say you’ll bring dessert to the next weekend away, IF you have enough time at your destination for it to freeze. When you’re enjoying your pie, give a little smile for Nina and it’ll taste even better.
*Special thanks to my fabulous niece Maddie for these pics of actually beautiful pies. That is something I have yet to master (see below, but points for creative styling).
Nina’s Margarita Pie
READY IN: 15mins, plus freezing time.
- 1⁄2 cup margarine or butter
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 -3 cups pretzels (to equal about 1 1/4 cups crushed)
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1⁄3 cup lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon tequila
- 1 Tablespoon triple sec
- 4 drops green food coloring, green (optional. I say bag it)
- 1 cup whipped cream (or more. I say more). Cool Whip is also, well, cool, especially if on-site prep space is a challenge.
- additional whipped cream
Melt margarine or butter and combine with sugar and pretzel pieces. Press into buttered 9 inch pie pan.
Filling: Combine condensed milk, lime juice, alcohol and food coloring, if using.
Fold in whipped cream.
Pour into pie crust and freeze for 4 hours.
Traveling any distance with this is tough in the heat, but low impact assembly on site is easy as long as you can melt butter, whip cream, and get some freezer space on site. Just prep the pretzels first and put them in a Ziploc bag. Portion out the booze, grab a pie plate and fill a bag with the rest of the ingredients—limes, cream, stick of butter and that can of sweetened condensed milk that has been in your cupboard since the moon landing (don’t tell!). Make the pie right away so it has time to freeze and then get yourself a real margarita to celebrate.
Three cheers and an Olé to Nina, who, to the delight and amazement of this niece, always had Cool Whip on hand when I was a kid. Gotta figure out how to veganize this recipe with maybe cashew cream instead of condensed milk. Cool Whip is already vegan, I think. Is there any real “food” in it anyway? Who cares! It’s a pie and a margarita!
I’m thinking condensed coconut milk. I believe I have seen it. And if not I think I have made something like it…coconut milk caramel or dulce de leche. I swear I meant to try it out and offer the options but…5 pm came early! The last pie is gone though, so time to start the next experiment. Cheers and thanks for tuning in!