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Best-of-Show-Winning Recipe: Mezcal and Key Lime Meringue Pie

Donna Thomas of Dallas won three first place blue ribbons and the best-of-show ribbon in the State Fair of Texas’ Egg and Bacon competition this morning.

Donna Thomas - Dallas, TX
Donna Thomas – Dallas, TX

The longtime Creative Arts food competitor won the coveted purple best-of-show ribbon for her Mezcal and Key Lime Meringue Pie.  Using taste and appearance as elements for rating, judges didn’t have any problem awarding Thomas’ tart dessert high marks in the Creative Arts Competition Kitchen presented by The Home Depot.

Fairgoers of all ages still have 16 opportunities to participate in Creative Arts cooking competitions this year.

The State Fair loves to showcase Creative Arts competitors and their creations in our Cookbook and our new recipe blog on bigtex.com. Enter in this year’s Creative Arts competitions for your chance to be in the spotlight!

2014 Creative Arts Handbook

Mezcal and Key Lime Meringue Pie

Created by: State Fair of Texas competitor Donna Thomas – Dallas
Best-of-Show – 2014 State Fair of Texas Bacon & Egg Contest

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

8 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
Zest of 4 limes
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk3/4 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon mezcal

Meringue:

3 tablespoons cornstarch
8 or 9 egg whites
1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar
1-3/4 cups sugar
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust:

Combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. While pulsing, gradually pour in the melted butter and pulse again to incorporate. Transfer the crumb mixture to an 8-inch pie plate. Using the rounded sides and flat bottom of a measuring cup, press the crust out evenly to a 1/4-inch thickness over the bottom and up the sides of the plate.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes ans set aside to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling:

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl, then add the lime zest, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and mezcal and whisk together to incorporate. Ladle the filling into the completely cooled crust, leaving 1/4 inch of crust showing all around the pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the custard has set.  Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature.

To make the meringue:

Preheat the over to 375 degrees.

Bring 1-1/4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan.  In a separate saucepan, stir the cornstarch together with 6 tablespoons cold water.  Add the boiling water to the cornstarch mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick and clear gel forms.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool completely.

Using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and Cream of Tartar until foamy.  Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.  Beat in the salt and vanilla, then slowly stir in the cold cornstarch gel. Whip for several minutes – the peaks should be stiff and glossy.  Spread the meringue on the cooled pie and bake for 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden but not burnt.  Cool the pie on the counter for 45 minutes, then refrigerate and serve cold.  Store any remaining pie in the refrigerator.

Servings: 8

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