My grandmother Sally was born in Belfast, Ireland. She was raised by a Jewish Russian mother and Protestant Irish father, so the cuisine in her home was varied, to say the least.
One food that she was never exposed to, however, was watermelon. She first tasted it after sailing to America on the Queen Mary on her first visit to our country. When she disembarked in New York, one of the crew with whom she had become friends brought her home to spend a few days with her family.
It was there that she first had a piece of the delicious, ruby-red melon, marveling at its capacity to hydrate and refresh in the midst of a brutal New York City summer heat.
Here I take the humble watermelon and elevate it into a showstopping pie to bring to any summer barbecue or get-together! My grandmother loved it; I hope yours will, too!
Watermelon Summer Pie
Fluted tart pan with removable base (23 centimeters)
Medium mixing bowl
Large mixing bowl
Electric hand mixer (or your very strong arms)
Strainer or sieve
2 cups watermelon, roughly chopped
9 ounces graham crackers
½ cup melted butter
9 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons raspberries, crushed
Melon balls from watermelon and cantaloupe
Carton mixed berries
- Take your two cups of chopped watermelon and put the pieces on a lined baking tray. Place tray in the freezer for two hours or until frozen.
- Grind graham crackers in your food processor until they are finely crushed. Add in the melted butter and process until well combined. Pour mixture into your tart pan. Use your hands to spread and press the mixture evenly over the bottom and side of your pan. Once it is evenly distributed and compacted, place the pan into your freezer for 30 minutes.
- In your food processor, blend the frozen chunks of watermelon until you have a smooth purée. Pour into a medium mixing bowl.
- Using your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl until it is smooth. Add in the vanilla ice cream. Beat together well with mixer. Then add in your watermelon and lime juice; mix to combine.
- Pour out entire mixture into tart pan and smooth evenly with a spatula or spoon. Place into your freezer for at least four hours.
- To serve: Using your melon baller, scoop out balls from cantaloupe and the remaining watermelon. Strain your crushed raspberries through the sieve and place in a small bowl. Drizzle raspberry over your pie and top with melon balls and mixed berries.