Wednesday, June 8, 2011

That's right, I said watermelon pie

Let me get a few things straight.  I don't even really like watermelon.  OK, I kind of take that back.  I enjoy watermelon but only under the following circumstances; first, it must be candy sweet, second, it must be ice cold, and third, it must be seedless.  When this perfect storm of circumstances comes together, I enjoy watermelon.

A few weeks ago at work I saw a giant stack of crates full of watermelons, soon to be merchandised for a one day sale.  For some reason I instantly thought of pie.  Could a watermelon pie be just crazy enough to work?  I went home and searched the interwebs for recipes and was surprised to find quite a few.  Most of them were based on watermelon flavored Jello with Cool Whip and/or cream cheese mixed in.  I don't think I've ever seen watermelon Jello before, but I did find a pie recipe where someone made their own by pureeing watermelon and adding dissolved gelatin.  Sounded perfect to me.  But I wanted to do something a little different besides cream cheese and thought of yogurt.  Particularly Greek yogurt, which I like to call the "sour cream of yogurts" because it is so thick and rich.  I ended up buying Noosa brand yogurt, which is my latest addiction.  It's actually an Australian-style yogurt, but made in Colorado and I always advise buying local!  Like Greek yogurt, it is very rich and creamy.  While it does have more fat than most Greek yogurts, which are widely available in non-fat and low-fat varieties, it is worth every delicious, decadent bite!  Besides, watermelon is fat-free, so you can splurge little.

So a few weeks have gone by since I first hinted at a watermelon pie and I know that many of you have been eagerly awaiting its arrival.  Sorry about that, I'm a slacker.  But here it is, at long last!

Watermelon Yogurt Pie
I used a 9.5" glass pie pan
2 cups Nilla Wafer crumbs, this is about 3/4 of a box (grind the cookies in a food processor)
6 Tb. butter, melted
1 small seedless watermelon, I used a 4 lb. mini, organic melon and had a little extra fruit left over
1/4 cup cool water
2 packets unflavored gelatin
Sugar to taste, depending on the sweetness of your melon and the type of yogurt you use
Juice of half a lime
16 oz. tub Noosa brand yogurt, honey flavor (or substitute a Greek yogurt like Fage, keep in mind many of the brands are unsweetened)

Combine the crumbs and butter and mix well.

Press firmly into pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes and let cool.

Cut the ends off the melon so you have a steady base.

Following the curve of the melon, cut down the sides to remove the rind,
being careful not to cut off too much of the flesh.

The beautiful red flesh with all the rind removed.

Sprinkle the 2 packs of gelatin over 1/4 cup of cool water and allow to bloom.

Put the chunks of melon into a blender or food processor.

Blend until smooth.  Use enough fruit so that you have about  3 1/2 cups puree. You may have some left over.

Pour the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds and pulp.  You will lose some of the body but be sure you have 3 cups of liquid total.

The pulp and tiny seed fragments left over.  Yes, seedless watermelon can still have seeds!

Measure out one cup of liquid and heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, until it starts to boil.  Add the gelatin, lime juice and sugar to taste, I used 1/2 of a cup. Whisk together to dissolve everything.

Stir the hot liquid/gelatin/sugar mixture into the other 2 cups of watermelon liquid. Put in the refrigerator
and chill until it is thickened and starting to set.

When the liquid is thickened, add the yogurt.

Look at that thick, delicious Noosa yogurt!

Whisk in the yogurt until combined.

If you have extra watermelon, you can cut it up and use to garnish the pie.

Pour the watermelon yogurt mixture into the cooled pie crust.  Top with chunks of watermelon if desired.  Put in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 6 hours, but overnight is really best.  Be patient and let it set completely.  You will be rewarded with a light, refreshing pie that is sure to surprise your guests!

1 comment:

  1. It's going to feel so sad to eat Noosa not-in-a-pie-shell this afternoon, but I am going to soldier through a container. :(