This cantaloupe pie is a refreshing dessert, perfect for a warm, sunny day. It's such a unique combination, rich shortcrust pastry, a light filling featuring cantaloupe melon with a cheeky lime kick, and the whipping cream which is smooth and silky. A happier marriage than this is hard to find!
The idea of a melon dessert might sound a bit strange, but this cantaloupe pie is actually a surprisingly exquisite dessert. It reminds me of the classic key lie pie, which has a similar texture. Also perhaps because both of them use lime juice which brings so much freshness and flavour.
Cantaloupe melons might be available all year round in big supermarkets, but they are never so juicy, flavourful and aromatic like in summer time. It's the best season to get fresh melons of any kind, and I always take full advantage of that, since their season is quite short.
Watermelons are one of my favourite fruit in the whole wide world, although I don't say no to any kind of melon either. Not sure if watermelon would actually work for this recipe, I might give it a go and see what happens. But what I know for sure if that I can't have enough of this cantaloupe pie. So, let's see how to make it!
- plain flour - used for the shortcrust, well sifted
- butter - I used unsalted butter, salted also ok
- eggs - one whole egg used for the pastry, egg yolks used for the filling
- cold water - it helps bind the shortcrust together
- caster sugar - used for the shortcrust
- cantaloupe melon - ripe and juicy
- limes - we use the juice for the filling
- cornflour - or corn starch
- whipping cream - for decorating
- icing sugar - for a smoother filling, I prefer it over caster sugar
Step-by-step photos and instructions to make cantaloupe pie
The shortcrust pastry
The shortcrust pastry can be used in so many other dishes, both sweet and savoury. The only difference when using it for a dessert is that we add sugar to it. Although I suppose it can also be left out if the filling is rather sweet anyway.
- sift the flour, add the cold cubed butter and rub it with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs
- add the egg yolk, sugar, a pinch of salt and water, and knead gently to bring it together into a dough
- refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then roll it over a pie tin, ideally with detachable walls
- cover it with non-stick paper, and add fill it either with dry pulses (rice, lentils, etc) or ceramic baking beans
This is called the blind baking method, which helps the shortcrust pastry bake without shrinking. After 20 minutes, remove the paper and beans, and leave to bake for a further 10 minutes to get a nice golden colour. Leave the pastry to cool, while you get on with the filling for the pie.
The cantaloupe filling
Like the pastry, the filling is super easy to make, and I kid you not, it's absolutely amazing.
- peel and de-seed the cantaloupe, then cut it into chunks
- transfer to a blender, and blitz until smooth
- add the cantaloupe smoothie to a pan set over a low to medium heat
- add the sugar, and bring to a boil
- in a bowl, add the water and lime juice, then add the cornflour and mix well to get a lump-free mixture
- pour it over the cantaloupe, then add the egg yolks and whisk well to get a smooth filling
- remove from the heat, add the butter, and mix well to get a silky filling
- add it to the pastry, then leave to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight
- heat the whipping cream with sugar, and decorate the pie the way you like it
How long can the pie be refrigerated for?
Most desserts that need refrigerating taste a lot better the following day when they are proper cold and set. And this cantaloupe pie is absolutely beautiful once it's nice and cool.
I wouldn't attempt to slice it in less than 6 hours, the filling does settle quickly, but it's best to keep it in the fridge for longer. I will keep well for at least 3-4 days, that is if it lasts that long, which I really doubt it.
It's the perfect summer dessert, and it goes really well with a chilled Watermelon Mint Lemonade. So, why not give it a try? I'm sure you'll love it too.
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For the pastry:
- 250 g plain flour
- 125 g butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon cold water
- 3 tablespoon caster sugar
- a pinch of salt
For the cantaloupe cream:
- 1 cantaloupe melon
- juice of 2 limes
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ⅓ cup corn flour
- 4 medium egg yolks
- ¼ cup cold water
- 25 g unsalted butter (2 tbsp)
- 125 ml whipping cream ( 4 oz)
- ¼ cup icing sugar
To make the pastry:
- Sift the flour and cut the butter in small cubes, then rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk, sugar and salt, then gradually add the water and mix until you get a firm dough.
- Knead the dough into a ball, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Return the dough to the work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry and place it on a pie dish.
- Place a baking sheet on top of the pastry and fill with ceramic baking beans or just dry pulses.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) then remove the ceramic beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool down.
To make the cantaloupe cream:
- Peel, de-seed and cut the cantaloupe melon into small cubes.
- Blitz into a food processor or blender until you get a smooth puree.
- Add the puree to a pan and bring to a simmer over a low to medium heat.
- Next, the sugar goes in.
- In a bowl, add the corn flour and dissolve it into the water and lime juice.
- Pour the corn flour mixture over the puree and mix well.
- In another bowl, slightly beat the egg yolks, then add 1 tablespoon of the melon mixture and stir.
- Add the egg mixture to the pan and whisk until the puree thickens into a sauce.
- Remove from the heat, and add the butter, stirring well until it is combined.
- Pour the melon cream into the pastry form and leave to cool.
- Once the pie is cool, beat the whipping cream and icing sugar together until it forms stiff peaks. A hand mixer is just brilliant!
- Decorate the pie with whipping cream using a piping bag. Feel free to decorate it the way you like it.
- Refrigerate the pie for at least 6 hours before serving.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.