Margarita C. Hinojosa of Benavides is famous among Rio Grande Valley residents for her Nopalito Pie, which some think tastes like apple pie, especially if served warm and topped with ice cream.
8 nopalitos with thorns and “eyes” removed
dicedpastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
1 c. sugar
3 T. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. butter or margarine
slice of prickly pear tuna (optional)
Cook cactus, covered, for 3 minutes in enough boiling, lightly salted water to cover; drain. Rinse under running water; drain well.
Roll half of pastry to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place in a 9-inch pie plate; trim off excess pastry along edges. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine nopalitos and remaining ingredients except butter; mix well by hand.
Spoon filling evenly into pastry shell, and dot with butter.Roll remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1/2-inch strips. Arrange strips, lattice fashion, across top of pie. Trim strips even with edges; fold edges under and flute.
Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes. Garnish with slice of tuna, if desired.
From the April 1998 issue.