Spring Loaded Scoop
For a pretty way to style the whipped cream that’s also hassle free, use a small spring loaded scoop to create little balls of cream. It’s super easy to execute and doesn’t require any special tools like a piping bag. Just plop the little spheres of cream straight onto the pie and start piling them up in the center.
I have very vivid childhood memories of eating watermelon. Running up and down the street at our neighborhood block party with a huge slice. Sneaking ice cold slivers out of the fridge between meals. Sitting at the pool with my cousin and grandmother, pulling the Tupperware container out of the cooler and waiting impatiently while the adults got a 15 minute “courtesy swim.” Spitting the seeds as hard as I could at my brothers after they told me swallowing them would cause a watermelon to grow in my stomach (and then spending weeks wondering if they knew something I didn’t…yeah, I trusted them way too much.)
Moving back to my hometown has sparked a craving for nostalgic eats, and when I set out to make a pie celebrating this iconic fruit of my summers in Alabama, I also remembered how mysterious Key Lime Pie was to me as a kid. It was something my mom talked about from her years growing up in Florida but never ate outside the state because it wasn’t “the real stuff.“ The first memory I have of eating this elusive-to-me dessert was in my teens on a trip my mom and I took to Miami. I don’t remember if it fell into the authentic category or not, but I do remember thinking “this is delicious; why don’t we eat this more often?” I realize adding watermelon to the pie is definitely taking it a few step further from classic side of things, but it’s an ode to my childhood summers - and it’s also a down right delicious combination.
While there’s debate on whether Key Lime Pie originated in Florida or New York, there is no debate on watermelon and lime being complimentary flavors. And this pie brings that pairing to life in a sweet way. I recommend searching for the sweetest melon you can find. (That may likely be a seeded melon, which is fine because the juice gets trained.) The fuller in flavor the watermelon is, the more melon-flavored your pie will be. While lime and melon do go very well together, lime can easily over power watermelon’s flavor, so starting with a very sweet, boldly flavored melon will help balance the two. For the key lime juice, you could squeeze your own, but I honestly recommend saving a few dollars and lots of time by going for the best bottle stuff around - Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice. General grocery stores like Publix and Walmart should have it in stock. This pie is also a no-bake dessert! Even though we’re into the month of September, our heat index is still in the 95 to 100 degree range so you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to make this refreshing treat. I hope you give this recipe a try and feel a little bit like a kid running up and down the street with no care in the world (other than wondering if a watermelon might be sprouting in your belly….).
watermelon key lime pie
Makes 1 (10-inch) pie
1 (8.8 ounce) package biscoff cookies
1 cup almond meal
6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 ounces melted dark chocolate
2 cups watermelon juice (about 1 pound watermelon flesh, pureed and srained through a sieve)
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup key lime juice
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Place cookies in a food processor and process until very finely ground. Add almond meal and pulse until combined. With processor running, slowly add melted butter. Stop and scrape sides of work bowl. With processor running again, add chocolate and continue mixing until fully combined. Brush a 10-inch pie plate lightly with oil or spray with non-stick baking spray. Press cookie crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Freeze while you make the filling.
Reserve 3 tablespoon watermelon juice in a small bowl. Add remaining juice along with sugar and salt to a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Slowly whisk 1 cup of hot juice into milk mixture until fully combined. Whisk milk mixture into pot until fully combined. Return to medium heat and cook, whisking frequently for 5 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch into reserved watermelon juice until fully dissolved. Whisk into pot. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 more minutes. (Whisk should leave a defined trace and mixture should be about the thickness of pudding.) Pour into pie crust. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Refrigerate, uncovered, for 6 hours or overnight. Top with sweetened whipped cream and lime zest before serving.