Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pink Saturday - Watermelon Chiffon Pie

I made this pie on the Fourth of July weekend, but it's perfect for Pink Saturday.

This week's pie is inspired by half a watermelon Our Son bought for a party, and left in the fridge after that.

You know how watermelon can get mushy and grainy, and then it's no fun to eat anymore. I thought this would be a good way to use a watermelon past its prime. The recipe is from Ken Haedrich's book "Pie."

Watermelon Chiffon Pie

1 pre-baked pie shell - graham cracker crumb recommended. You can use pre-purchased.

6 cups (approximately) of watermelon flesh
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2 egg whites
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Even though my intent is to practice making traditional pie crust, the graham cracker crust recommended in this recipe sounded like a better fit. So I made my own by pulsing graham crackers in the food processor, adding brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon, and mixing the crumbs with melted butter. Press it into the pan, chill it a few minutes, then pre-bake it for about seven minutes.

I scooped all the meat out of the watermelon, and put it into a big bowl, and mixed in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and let it sit. Then, as the recipe instructed, I smashed it up with a potato-masher. Then I put it through a strainer, pressing down on it to force the juice and small bits of flesh through the mesh, leaving behind the seeds. I ended up with about 3 cups of juice - which is great, because the recipe called for 2 3/4 cups.

Put 1/4 cup of the juice in a small bowl and sprinkle the two envelopes of gelatin over them and stir to dissolve.

Bring 1/2 cup of juice to a boil, then mix with the gelatin and juice mixture. Finally, add in the remaining 2 cups of juice. Add the tablespoon of lime or lemon juice, stir, and put it in a bowl in the fridge.

The recipe called for whipping two egg whites until they formed stiff peaks. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and bowl, which meant that I had to wash the bowl and beaters for the next step. I whipped a cup of whipping cream until it formed soft peaks, then added 1 cup of confectioners sugar and continue to whip until stiff.

I set aside the egg whites on the counter and put the whipped cream in the fridge to chill. Then I had to wait about 45 minutes for the watermelon juice and gelatin mixture to gel up.

The next step said to mix the cream, egg white, and firmed gel together. I was a little leary about this - I wasn't sure how firm the gel should be. Should it be jiggly-firm, like molded Jello? Or should it be softer, so when you blend it you don't get chunks of jelly?

Partly due to impatience, and partly because I wondered how long the whipped egg whites would stay good, I took the gel out of the fridge at the "kinda gloopy" stage.

I put the gel and 1/4 of the whipped cream in the mixer bowl, whipped it up with the wire whisk, then took the bowl off the stand and folded in the rest of the cream and the egg whites. I folded it together until there were no big blobs of white, the mixture was a creamy pink flecked with darker pink bits of watermelon.

I poured it into the shell and put it in the fridge.

I used a disposable foil pie-tin because I couldn't find my old Pyrex pie pan, and couldn't find one in the stores I went to. The lucky thing about the foil pie tin was that it was sold in packs of 3. The recipe said to cover the pie loosely with a tented piece of foil - in my experience, that usually doesn't work to protect the delicate surface. But instead, I just covered the pie with one of the other pie tin, upside down, and used a crimped bit of foil to hold it on.

I had a good amount of mixture left over, so I poured it into two ceramic ramekins and chilled them, too.

After an hour or so, a spoon dipped into the ramekins yielded a scoop of delicate, foam tasting of watermelon, shuddering and wobbling voluptuously in the dish.

I chilled the pie overnight. The next day we tried a slice.

The first slice was a mess. The cookie crust needed a firm hand on the knife, yet the delicate filling needed a light touch.

I also realize a spatula isn't a very good pie server. This is a pie to eat with a spoon.

If you could get a pretty, un-marred slice onto a plate, it would be a pretty, elegant pie for a summer luncheon. Its subtle flavor is intriguing, and the color is like a pink cloud.

Watermelon chiffon pie. For Pink Saturday.


Theresa Plas said...

Sounds like a very refreshing summer pie!! Happy PS!

eileeninmd said...

Happy Pink Saturday! Your pie looks and sounds delicious!

Kathy said...

Sad to say, I don't like watermelon - truly, I tried. But, the rest of my family does! They probably would like this! Thanks for sharing,
Happy Pink Saturday,

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I love watermelon.

And it's good for you.

Shelia said...

Hi Aunt Snow and it's so nice to meet you! I've never heard of Watermelon Chiffon Pie but it sounds divine an is absolutely beautiful! I'll have to try this recipe for sure.
Thank you so much for popping in to see me and have a Happy Pink Saturday,
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

My o My! Doesn't that look so yummy and cool on this HOT Pink Saturday!!



Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Being an awful, awful man, I would've mixed the watermelon juice with rum, maybe a hint of lemonade. Drink Saturday is more my speed.

Sara said...

ooooh what a lovely refeshing mess to get into. It looks delicious. Hugs Sara

★Carol★ said...

That first slice is always the hardest to get out, isn't it?! I'm going to try this, because I just love anything watermelony!
Happy Pink Saturday!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Central to my point!

Be sure to play the first video.

Char said...

Oh my gosh!!! That watermelon pie looks so good and cool. Here in the desert with the temps being 110 degrees, that would hit the spot just perfectly. Thankyou so much for the recipe and Happy Pink Saturday, Char

Unknown said...

There is none left!!! I ATE THE WHOLE THING!!! Chuckle! That sounds deelish, I'm going to give it a try.

Have a lovely summer's eve ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

bj said...

Well, my goodness...this is the first watermelon pie I've heard of. It looks delicious. Sometimes, those pies that fall apart (cakes, too) are the best kind.

smalltownme said...

I never heard of watermelon pie before -- how great!

CailinMarie said...

how interesting! I have never ever heard of watermelon pie. I am so curious! I just might have to try the recipe so I can know what it tastes like -
Happy Pink Saturday!
and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Mary Bergfeld said...

This looks and sounds really delicious. I've never had a watermelon pie but that will change really soon. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Simply Debbie said...


Nej said...

I'm not a huge fruit the flavors, hate the texture. This pie looks marvelous!!! I'm going to try it out! Perfect summer time treat! :-)

Nej said...

So...if you were a person that was trying to make this recipe better for her father (who recently had a heart attack)...what would you use in place of the heavy whipping cream??

Beverly said...

It looks so cool and refreshing. It would be perfect for these extremely hot summer days.

Happy Pink Saturday, Glennis. I love the picture of you and your husband.