Yes, you read the title of this recipe correctly, which means that yes, you can put watermelon in a pie! It was a new concept for me too. I was thrilled when it worked so beautifully, and just had to text my sister to let her know of my ultimate pie feat, but expectedly I received a text back from her something along the lines of, “Um, seriously? How does that even work?”
Well, I’ll tell ya’! It’s actually something of a chiffon pie. The original recipe isn’t technically chiffon, but mine wasn’t setting up, and I couldn’t bear to throw in the towel, so I added gelatin and then it set, and it was still uber delicious, so we’re going with it.
But yes, you puree the watermelon, strain out the seeds, boil it down with sugar and lime juice, add bloomed gelatin, then pour it into a blind-baked pie crust and sit it in the fridge for a few hours. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream, then slice and serve the bad boy up to your dumb-founded family and/or guests.
It would be incredibly perfect for this holiday weekend; I don’t know about you, but July 4th screams watermelon to me. I do think this pie would be very welcome at your shindig. It will travel well, though if you are transporting it, I’d recommend making the whipped cream ahead of time and transferring it to a kitchen storage container and then assembling the pie right before serving it. I hope y’all enjoy this one!
Source: adapted, a little bit, from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave
1 9” pie crust, blind-baked and cooled
6 cups cubed seedless watermelon (about 60% of a baby watermelon)
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Use a rubber spatula to push on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. You should have 4 cups. Discard the solids.
Ladle out ¼ cup of the puree into a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch and set aside.
Pour the remaining watermelon puree into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, lime juice and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. When it is boiling, whisk the cornstarch mixture once more to make sure it’s smooth, then pour that into the boiling pot. Lower the heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes, until it is reduced somewhat and can coat the back of a spoon. While the puree is simmering, add the gelatin to 3 tbs cold water. Let sit 5 minutes.
When the watermelon puree mixture has done its time in the simmering pot, add the gelatin and whisk to combine. Once smooth, pour the filling into the waiting pie crust. Place the pie onto a plate or baking sheet. Carefully transfer it to the refrigerator and let it set up, uncovered, for about 4-5 hours.
Make the topping. In a stand mixer, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie, but not until right before serving. Slice and serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap.