Monday, May 9, 2011

Margarita Pie Demonstration

The audience loved to learn about Margarita Pie at the AZ History Convention in Yuma last week. Leslie Christiansen is an expert at demonstrating cooking skills and techniques. She made the pie in little sample cups for tasting and added Crystallized Lime Zest for the topping. What a hit and they looked so pretty. Margarita Pie is from historic Rancho de la Osa, the recipe is on page 124 Tastes & Treasures cookbook.


Lime; Lemon or Orange

1. Wash the outside of the citrus with soap & water, and then dry well.
2. Peel the citrus with a potato peeler or citrus zester. Be sure the peel does not have the off-white and bitter pith. (do not use a micro/plane)
3. If using a peeler- cut peel into julienne strips.
4. Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil, using enough water to cover more than an inch of the citrus zest. Add a small palm-full of kosher salt to the boiling water.
5. Blanch the zest for 1 minute.
6. Pour the zest into a fine mesh sieve, allowing it to drain well.
7. Meanwhile, make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water:
8. Place the sugar in the center of a heavy bottom sauce pan, being careful not to get the sugar crystals up the sides of the pan.
9. Pour the water around the sugar. Gently stir the sugar with a wooden spoon.
10. Bring to a boil- without stirring. When the liquid has completely come to a boil and the syrup is clear, turn off the heat.
11. Add the zest and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zest is slightly transparent.
12. Meanwhile, place some new sugar in a cake or pie pan. (use 2 pans if making a large amount)
13. When the zest has finished simmering, pour it into a large sieve to drain. The syrup will be thick and sticky.
14. Immediately after the sugar has drained, start to coat it with the sugar;
15. Using 2 forks, scoop up about a large tablespoon full of zest into the sugar. Use the forks to separate the zest into strands, completely coating it with the sugar. This takes time and patience.
16. Move the sugar coated zest into the 2nd pie dish with sugar, coating it again. Continue until all the zest has been coated in sugar.
17. Allow sugar to dry out in the sugar for a few hours, re-coating it a few times.
18. Place finished zest in an airtight container or a zip-top bag. It will keep for a few weeks.