Friday, July 6, 2012

Theme Recipe: Tang Pie

Farscape has it's own space food traditions, the most well known of which is the "food cube."  In the second season episode "Cracker Don't Matter" (2.4) the Farscape "cracker" is introduced...looking really unappetizing, it nonetheless gets Chiana and Rygel into a food fight after they come under the influence of a strange blind alien that is uses space light to grow stronger--after the light affects them...the cracker war begins.  There is even one web page devoted to Farscape foods (at least some of them).  Tang became really popular on this least parts anyway, when the space programs of the US and the USSR got heated up in the 1960's--it was used in the US space program and became all the rage because of it.  Since then, some strange people have been finding ways to use it in recipes.  Most of these are spiced tea mixes of various sorts; but some crazy people here in the south actually decided to put it in a pie!!  Go figure...

There are several variations on this pie, but they all need some sort of cream or cheese base.  These range from good old fashioned cream cheese to....Cool Whip!  The Cool Whip variety, for some reason, was most likely to show up at Church Socials.  Use whatever you like...I like the cream cheese, and, well, the extra "tang" of some sour cream.  You can use any type of pie crust, but it has to be cooked.  The easiest thing to use is a prepared graham crust

1 pie crust, ready for filling with cold mixture
1 8oz. block cream cheese, room temperature
1 small can sweet condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup tang powder

1.  Cream together the cheese, condensed milk, sour cream--make sure they are well mixed.  Add in the tang mixture and mix well.  Pour this into the crust and chill overnight.  The pie may be decorated with canned mandarin orange segments.


As mentioned there are variations of this.  It's really just a matter of mixing up the cream properties of the base recipe. Some combos are as follows:

Cool Whip with Sweet Condensed Milk

Omit the Sour Cream, reduce powder to 1/3 cup.

Sour Cream, Sweet Condensed Milk & Cool Whip (note:  this just doesn't work for me, it won't set up...I'd add some orange jello powder to set it--just a little).

To make this strictly from scratch, whip your own cream, add 1/2 cup tang powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 tbsp. dissolved unflavored gelatin, and 1 tbsp. mandarin orange juice from canned oranges.  

Recipes vary wildly has to how much Tang to use.  It varies from 1/4 to 1/2 cup Tang powder....some go crazy and use up to 3/4 cup, which is way too much!!

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