Paloma Pie: Inspired by the classic Paloma cocktail, this dessert has a tangy grapefruit-tequila curd filling, nestled into a crunchy saltine cracker crust. A refreshing ending to a warm-weather meal, especially on Cinco de Mayo!
Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and I couldn’t let it go by without sharing my current favorite dessert: Paloma Pie!
Have you heard of the Paloma cocktail? It’s basically just grapefruit juice + tequila, with a salted rim. It’s a really refreshing drink, especially when it’s sunny and warm!
And this pie was inspired by it.
When I’m looking for something to serve with Mexican food, there are a few specific flavors I always zero in on:
- Tropical Fruit
You just can’t go wrong with these flavors because they’re often key players in savory Mexican cuisine, and so they complement the menu so well!
Here are a few examples of Cinco de Mayo desserts I have shared in past years:
- Mango Margarita Cupcakes
- Pina Colada Cupcakes
- Lime Mini Cheesecakes
- Pineapple Creme Brulee
- Coconut Cake
- Mango Chile Flan
They are all so good, but this Paloma pie is my current favorite.
I’m usually not that into grapefruit. It often has a bitter aftertaste that I really don’t enjoy, but this tequila-spiked curd filling has none of that.
Use fresh ruby-red grapefruits for the best flavor. Choose grapefruits that seem heavy for their size, and you can be sure they’ll give up tons of sweet juice.
The tequila compliments the grapefruit so well! These are two flavors that were made for each other. But, if you’d prefer a non-alcoholic version, you can just substitute water, in equal measure.
The best part of all is the Saltine cracker crust! That contrast between sweet, tangy citrus and salty crackers is so bomb!
Check out my “Graham Cracker Crust” recipe if you’re having trouble finding Saltines. It would be a great alternative, and there are some other good suggestions within that post as well!
More great pie recipes on my “Pies & Tarts” Pinterest board!
This post contains affiliate sales links.
For the Saltine crust:
- 60 Saltine crackers, (about 1 1/2 sleeves)
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, , melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the grapefruit-tequila filling:
- 1 1/2 cup (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cup (413 g) ruby red grapefruit juice, (from about 1 1/2 large grapefruits)
- 1/4 cup (60 g) tequila, (optional, water can be substituted)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons (88.72 g) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest, (from about 1/2 a grapefruit)
- drop of pink food coloring, optional
For the garnish:
- 1/2 cup (119 g) heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
To make the Saltine crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Crush the Saltine crackers into fine crumbs, by hand or in a food processor.
- Stir in the melted butter and sugar until combined.
- Press the mixture in an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish.
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
To make the Paloma curd filling:
- Stir the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the grapefruit juice and tequila.
- Whisk in the egg yolks.
- Add the butter, zest, and food coloring, and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- Cook the mixture, whisking, over the steaming water until it starts to bubble around the edges and become thick (about 10 to 15 minutes).
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust, and refrigerate the pie for 4 hours or overnight.
- Garnish with whipped cream.
For the whipped cream garnish:
- Whip the cream and sugar together on medium-high speed, until it holds soft peaks.
I found the recipe easy to follow and did exactly as noted. However, the curd never thickened and after an hour of attempting to, I was forced to give up. I have successfully made curd before, so I’m wondering if there are any tips or suggestions you have for that specific portion of the recipe. Definitely interested in attempting it again!
Hey Amy! I’m sorry to hear you had trouble. The best advice I can give would be to make sure you bring the mixture to a boil. Cornstarch does not begin to activate/thicken until it reaches the boiling point. And I would not advise you to boil it for more than a few minutes, because it will break down over time and thin back out again. I hope that’s helpful to you!
Genius idea! Such a great flavor!
Oh man! This looks beyond delicious. I am going to make this as soon as possible. Well done! I can’t wait to try this either. My most favorite hobby is trying out new recipes. Since I’m engaged in my work I don’t get much time now a days to tryout everything posted here but I had tried most of them and almost all came out really tasty at my first try itself
That’s so great to hear Christopher! I’m really glad you’ve been pleased with the recipes so far, and I hope that you love this one just as much!
This is insanely gorgeous. I would be diving into it!
That is one gorgeous pie!