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Enjoy Fresh Watermelon in Fresh, New Ways

Creamy Watermelon Pie

When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.
-Mark Twain

Undeniably, there’s something about biting into sweet, supple melon that just makes a lady want to throw on a sundress, grab a parasol and frolic in the fresh cut grass. Or, is it just me?… Sure burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob are all wonderfully classic cookout flavors, but nothing exudes the essence of carefree summer living better than fresh cut watermelon.

For a fresh spin on that fresh melon, you’ve just got to try Karen Baumgarten’s super easy Creamy Watermelon Pie… yes, pie! Honorary Kitchen Crew member Leah Stacey recently whipped up this recipe for her family and won smiles all around.

“This pie is fruity, fresh and sweet…just what you want in a dessert!” says Leah. “Every time I have made this pie people ask for the recipe! It is truly delightful. It taste like summer with every bite!”

A Blue Ribbon home cook in her own right, Leah was wowed by the three simple steps in Karen’s delicious recipe. Start with dissolved watermelon Jell-O, fold in whipped topping and beautiful fresh melon, then pour into a graham cracker crust to set up in the fridge! The result is an unexpected crowd pleaser that allows watermelon to shine in a refreshing new way.

Our palettes were also mighty pleased the first time we tried watermelon lemonade. As straightforward as it sounds, I had never thought to combine these two summer favorites. Kim Biegacki of Warren, Ohio takes it even one step further by infusing her Watermelon Lemonade recipe with aromatic basil! This unlikely combination begins to make perfect sense as soon as you take your first sip.

“It is an incredible tasting lemonade!” smiles Kim, who has won numerous accolades for her creative cooking. “It was my first time to [try] infusing, and I just love the delicate taste of basil with the watermelon…”

Indeed, as a member of the mint family, the fresh basil really balances out the sweet and sour of the fruit. It is surprisingly light and adds a delicate, earthy lift. While it is a little more labor intensive than your average drink, Kim’s recipe is WELL worth that bit of extra effort. Make it as-is for the whole family, or experiment with it as a cocktail mixer.

And as a final twist to your every day melon, why not try tossing it up in a sweet and savory salad?

“Our summers here in Texas routinely go over 100 degrees, and my turn at Bunco[ game night] fell on a 102 degree day,” explains Sheri Mullins whose Watermelon Salad is now making waves across the country thanks to her recent Blue Ribbon win. “The last thing I wanted was to heat my kitchen, so I came up with this dish by combining a few different recipes. [It’s] a light, refreshing side dish for the heat of the summer, and goes great with chicken salad croissants.”

Ah, I can see myself eating that croissant now, flowery sundress and all! This watermelon salad plays off the sweetness of the fruit by pairing it with robust feta cheese and garden vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes. You will be amazed at how fantastically cool and refreshing it is. Prepare to impress and amaze.

The great thing about each of these recipes is that their ingredients are as easy and breezy as we feel when we make them. Like Sheri says, now is not the time to be heating up your kitchens. Instead, heat things up in a whole new way by impressing your friends with your culinary ingenuity and creativity. In other words, it’s time to use your melon!