When I finished up Food Friendly May, reader Angel was kind enough to say she was going to miss my recipes. Well, Angel, you didn’t have to miss them for long. With the Fourth coming up, many of us are going to picnics or holding backyard barbeques, or just want a festive treat in honor of the holiday. And so I went looking for just the right sort of treat in a recent addition to my cooking library: Pie by Ken Haedrick.
If you love pie and haven’t taken a look at this book, do yourself a favor and go check it out. I’m overwhelmed with the range and tastiness of the recipes inside. I’ve already made a couple and am looking forward to using this book a lot!
So, what goodie did I find for the Fourth? Watermelon Chiffon Pie. I’ve modified the first instruction, but other than that, it’s just as Mr. Haedrick wrote it down.
1 large graham cracker crust
6 Cups watermelon flesh (seeds are fine)
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
2 large egg whites at room temperature
1 Cup cold heavy or whipping cream
1 Cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Fresh whipped cream (optional)
1: Make or buy your favorite graham cracker pie crust. This is a case where I’d probably just buy it. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2: Combine the watermelon and granulated sugar in a very large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash until the mixture is quite liquid. Set aside for 15 minutes. Drain the mixture through a strainer, reserving almost 2 3/4 Cups of the watermelon juice. Discard the pulp and seeds.
3: Put 1/4 Cup of the juice in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Set aside for 3 to 4 minutes to dissolve. Meanwhile heat 1/2 Cup of the juice in a small saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave) to a near boil. Whisk the hot juice into the dissolved gelatin. Pour the remaining 2 Cups watermelon juice mixture into a large bowl and stir in the gelatin-watermelon juice mixture. Stir in the lime or lemon juice. Place in the refrigerator.
4: Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a medium-size bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Clean and dry the beaters. Using a chilled medium-size bowl and chilled beaters, beat the heavy cream with the mixer until it holds soft peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and stiff but not grainy. Refrigerate.
5: When the watermelon juice mixture starts to firm up, add about one quarter of the whipped cream and beat with the electric mixer until smooth. Add the beaten egg whites and remaining whipped cream and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula. If necessary, use a whisk – very briefly – to smooth the mixture and break up any large globs of white or whipped cream. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell, shaking the pan gently to settle the filling. Cover with loosely tented aluminum foil and refrigerate at least four hours, preferably overnight. To serve, garnish with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, then add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Believe me, if you’re headed to a picnic next weekend, this will wow them.