Cooks Corner: Unusual pies make cool treat

Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, May 7, 2008

By Staff
Summer is the perfect time for cool, refreshing desserts. Many people prefer ice cream as their summer dessert no matter what the flavor.
Although I like ice cream, it's not one of my favorite treats, summer or any other time. If I'm going to eat ice cream, I certainly do prefer the homemade kind. But, that's not what I'm sharing with you today.
I've decided to give some recipes for some great pies that would be just the ticket to keep you cool during the coming summer months.
I've found some unusual pie recipes that call for ingredients I've never seen put into a crust before. By themselves, these ingredients are good, or at least sound good, but you may have never considered using them in a pie.
This first recipe is for a pie that calls for cantaloupe. I'd never heard of this pie before and since I don't like cantaloupe, or any kind of melon for that matter, I'll let you be the judge of how good it really is.
Cantaloupe Pie
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 (6 ounce) package peach flavored gelatin mix
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups cantaloupe
Prepare gelatin according to directions on package. Allow to cool until the consistency of thick syrup. In a small mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in confectioners' sugar, then beat in whipped topping. Spread mixture into bottom of pastry shell. Stir cantaloupe into gelatin, then pour mixture over cream cheese layer in pastry shell. Chill until thoroughly set.
If that sounds pretty good to you, you just mind find this next recipe appealing. Just to let you know, if finding watermelon gelatin is difficult, just choose a flavor that compliments the watermelon. Kiwi or any other fruit flavor you like.
Watermelon Pie
1 (3 ounce) package watermelon flavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups watermelon
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
Mix together the watermelon gelatin and water. Fold gelatin mixture into the dessert topping. Add cut watermelon. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust. Cool in refrigerator for about 3 hours.
Here's something a little different for you that sounds easy and delicious. The piecrust is a little different because it's made of pretzels and not graham crackers.
Margarita Pie
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
4 tablespoons orange liqueur
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 drops red food coloring
2 drops yellow food coloring
2 cups whipped cream, divided
In a large bowl, combine crushed pretzels, sugar and butter. Mix well and press onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan. In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur. Pour half of the mixture into another bowl. Add strawberries and a few drops of red food coloring to one half. To other half, add only a drop or two of yellow food coloring. Fold one cup of whipped cream into each half. Spoon into crust, alternating colors. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
This next recipe for a cool pie lists the ingredients to make the pie crust using graham crackers. Now, if you're industrious enough to make the crust yourself, go ahead. As for me, I'll continue to use those store-bought, no-work piecrusts the little elves put together for me.
Orange Cooler Pie
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter or margarine, and 3 tablespoons white sugar. Mix well. Press into a 9 inch pie plate. Place in freezer. Beat together half and half and 1/2 cup white sugar for about 2 minutes. Add undiluted orange juice concentrate, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat for 1 minute. Add ice cream, and beat an additional 2 minutes. Pour filling into prepared piecrust. Freeze for several hours or overnight. Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream and orange sections if desired.
Here's another citrus fruit pie that may be interesting to many of you. I really like grapefruit, but I've never made a pie out of it. I suppose you could use grapefruit juice concentrate to make a pie like the lemonade pie recipe I shared with you last week, but this one uses the real thing.
Grapefruit Pie
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 pink grapefruit
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup grapefruit juice1
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
Peel grapefruit, removing all pith. Cut up into bite size pieces. Drain in a strainer for 4 or more hours. This can be done the day before. Collect the juice. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and 3/4 cup juice in a small saucepan; if the collected juice does not measure 3/4 cup, top it off with water. Bring to a boil. Stir in strawberry gelatin. Cool slightly. Spread grapefruit in the bottom of the baked shell, and pour gelatin over the fruit. Cool.
Finally, for some chocolate and a fast recipe, this one should do it for you.
Candy Bar Pie
1 1/4 cups cold milk
2 (3.9 ounce) pkg. chocolate or vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
4 (1.5 ounce) bars chocolate candy, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, divided
1 ready-to-use chocolate flavor crumb crust (6 oz. or 9 inch)
Beat milk, pudding mixes and 1/2 of the whipped topping in medium bowl with wire whisk 1 minute. (Mixture will be thick.) Reserve 1/4 cup of the candy bar pieces; stir remaining pieces into pudding mixture. Spoon into crust. Spread remaining whipped topping over pudding mixture; sprinkle with remaining candy pieces. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you have an unusual recipe you'd like to submit, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me at 867-4876 or by email at
Until next week, happy cooking!

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