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Frozen Margarita Tarts

TODAY Show: Christina Lane makes Valentine's Day "Dessert for Two" in Studio 1A -- February 12, 2015.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Chef notes

If I had to pick one thing to be the most proud about being a Texan, it would be the invention of the frozen margarita in my hometown of Dallas. It’s the world’s most perfect drink. When I go home to visit Dallas I subsist on a steady diet of chips, salsa, queso, guac amoleand frozen margaritas. Somehow, I feel like I’m hitting all the major food groups on this diet. 

Please don’t correct me if I’m wrong! I created a dessert inspired by my beloved frozen margarita. And since I never forget the salt rim on my frozen margarita, I used crushed pretzels as the crust for these tarts for the salty bite. Feel free to double, triple, even quadruple this recipe for your Cinco de Mayo festivities!


For the crust
  • 1 cup (42.5 grams) mini pretzel twists
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
For lime curd filling
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) fresh lime juice
  • Zest of 1 small lime
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 drop green food coloring (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tequila


To make the crust: 


Crush the pretzels in a food processor (or place in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin). You want a fine powder, but a few pieces of pretzels remaining are fine.


With the food processor running on low, slowly stream in the melted butter until combined. P


Pack a heaping tablespoon of the pretzel crumbs into six well-greased cups of a mini muffin pan. Place in the freezer to set.

To make the lime curd filling: 


In a microwave safe bowl, combine the granulated sugar, egg, lime juice, butter and food coloring, if using. Whisk together, then microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stop, stir and microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. For me, this takes 1 minute and 30 seconds, or three pulses.


Scrape the filling into a shallow bowl, press plastic wrap directly on to the surface and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. One hour before serving, dollop the filling over the frozen pretzel crusts.


In a medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, whip the cream until soft peaks form, and then stir in the powdered sugar and tequila. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the lime curd and freeze until set. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the tarts and pop each out onto a plate.