Make this Strawberry Margarita Freezer pie to show off and satisfy everyone |

Make this Strawberry Margarita Freezer pie to show off and satisfy everyone

Vera Dawson
High Country Baking
Don't be tempted to add extra alcohol to the recipe. Adding more than the measured amount will leave your pie soggy and unfrozen.
Vera Dawson | Special to the Daily

High altitude makes cookies spread in the pan, cakes fall, and few baked goods turn out as they do at sea level. This twice-monthly column presents recipes and tips that make baking in the mountains successful.

A frozen strawberry margarita in a pie shell … what could be better on a summer evening or following a spicy meal? Refreshing, cool and creamy with a mild strawberry flavor enhanced by triple sec, lime, and tequila; it’s a crowd-pleaser.

Crush the graham crackers into crumbs in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. If you don’t have one, break the crackers up, place them in a plastic bag, close the bag and smash them with a rolling pin or a small, heavy pot. A premade commercial graham cracker crust can replace the homemade one; since the filling has star billing, the pie will still be good. Don’t be tempted to increase the amount of alcohol. Too much of it will keep the filling from freezing.

Strawberry Margarita Freezer Pie

Make in a 9-inch pie pan or a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch high sides

CRUST 1 1⁄3 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about eleven 2 ½ by 4 ¼ inch crackers) 2 ½ tablespoons superfine granulated sugar, preferably Baker’s

5-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING 1 pound fresh or frozen hulled strawberries, partially thawed if frozen

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lime zest ¼ cup fresh lime juice 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons tequila 2 tablespoons triple sec 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, cold

DIRECTIONS 1. Place a metal or glass mixing bowl and the beaters for your electric mixer in the freezer to chill — the cream whips more quickly if these are cold. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Generously grease the pan with butter. Whisk the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together until blended. Add 5 tablespoons of the melted butter and toss/stir with a fork until uniformly moistened. Pinch some between your fingers. It should just hold together, if it doesn’t, add another ½ tablespoon melted butter, toss/stir, and test again. If necessary, add the last ½ tablespoon melted butter. Take care, the crust will be hard and difficult to cut if too much butter is added. 2. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan so the crust is about 3⁄16 of an inch thick and, if using a springform pan, extends about 2 inches up sides. You may have some left over if using a pie pan. Bake until the crust is firm and aromatic, about 10 minutes. Move to a rack and cool completely. 3. Make the filling: Add the berries, lime zest and juice, sweetened condensed milk, tequila and triple sec to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and set aside. 4. Remove the chilled bowl and beaters from the freezer, add the cold whipping cream to the bowl and beat until it holds stiff peaks. Fold 1⁄3 of the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture, and then fold in half of the remaining whipped cream before adding all of it. Try not to deflate the whipped cream as you add it. Pour and scrape the filling into the cooled crust — again, you may not use it all if you have a shallow pie pan or are using a commercial crust — smooth the top and freeze uncovered until it’s firm, which should take at least 5 hours. If you’re not serving the pie immediately, cover it with plastic wrap or foil and leave it in freezer for up to 2 days. 5. If using a springform pan, remove the pie by wetting a kitchen towel with hot water and quickly rubbing the pan side to warm it and soften the filling a little. Then unlock and remove the side and serve the pie on the pan bottom. If topping the dessert, halve fresh strawberries and place them decoratively around top. To serve, cut with a thin, sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried between cuts. Let the slices rest until they soften very slightly before bringing them to the table. This recipe is a variation of one published in Gourmet Magazine.

Vera Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks (available at the Bookworm in Edwards, Next Page Bookstore in Frisco and Breck Books in Breckenridge). She became a full-time Frisco resident in 1991 and has been developing and adjusting recipes so that they work at our altitude ever since. Contact her at

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