Monday, September 7, 2009

Cucumber-Honeydew-White Chocolate Icebox Pie

I know that ever since I shared the Pie Makers' Secrets from the Oregonian you have been waiting on pins and needles to hear about the Cucumber-Honeydew-White Chocolate Icebox Pie I mentioned. (Note the sarcasm?) Well, ready or not, the results are in.....and let me be the first to tell you that if I swore, I would swear this was the best thing I have ever eaten in my entire life. But I don't swear--so the best I can do is tell you that this pie just may be the best dessert I have ever eaten. Ever. Really. It's that amazing. It is no wonder it won the grand prize as the best overall pie of the 2009 Portland Pie-Off.

I must admit that I was initially a skeptic. The cucumber and honeydew combination really had me scratching my head. What on earth was a cucumber doing in a pie? I could wrap my brain around a cucumber-honeydew body lotion perhaps, but somehow not as the main ingredients in a pie. That all changed the minute I put the combination in the food processor. The smell alone tempted me, but after pureeing, I couldn't help but taste it immediately, and my little skeptic self changed into a believer at that precise moment. That was at step 1! Step ONE!
From there, every taste I had while cooking was better than the last. I felt like had to wait for eternity to come before I could finally taste all of the components together, and when I did, the gates of heaven opened up and angels started to sing. You think I am kidding? You'll just have to try this amazing delight on your own and be the judge. If I swore, and I don't, I would swear you would agree.


2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed honeydew melon
1 cup peeled, seeded, and cubed cucumber
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons lime juice

2 cups crushed shortbread cookies
1/3 cup butter

White Chocolate Pudding
2 1/2 cups whole milk (divided)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup white chocolate chips


1. To make the sorbet: In a blender or food processor that has been fitted with a metal blade, combine honeydew, cucumber, sugar, corn syrup, and lime juice. Pulse to chop, then process until thick and smooth.

2. Place in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Place in freezer to ripen while you make the crust and pudding.

3. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine shortbread crumbs and butter and blend well.

4. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on wire rack before filling.

5. To make the pudding: Place 2 cups milk and salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sprinkle sugar on milk and do not stir; heat over medium-high. In a small bowl quickly combine cornstarch with remaining 1/2 cup milk; add egg yolks and mix well. When milk mixture comes to a full boil, remove saucepan from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture (pudding will begin to thicken).

6. Return to heat and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, butter, and white chocolate chips. Place plastic wrap on surface and chill in refrigerator until cool.

7. To assemble: Spread 2 cups chilled pudding in crust (strain the pudding through a wire mesh strainer if lumps have formed). Place pie in freezer until pudding hardens, about 45-60 minutes.

8. About 20 minutes before taking pie out of freezer, remove sorbet from freezer and allow to soften until spreadable. Spread softened sorbet over pudding. Return to freezer until solid, at least one hour.

For best results, thaw slightly before slicing, so pie is easy to cut, but not melted and sloppy.

Recipe from FOODday of the Oregonian, September 1, 2009; Alison Greco.

Yields: one 9-inch pie


suz said...

that looks so yummy, I don't see myself making it but wold love to come over for coffee the next time you do.

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