I was innocently thinking about an organic cantaloupe that was sitting in my refrigerator and wondering when I will get around to eating it. I had some beautiful organic strawberries too. And I have a husband who, in his quest to eat less sugar, enjoys a nice dessert without it.
My usual pattern when it comes to creating food dishes or meals is that I think about color. Cantaloupe and strawberries would look beautiful together!
And that was how I came up with the idea of strawberry cantaloupe pie which I’ve never made or heard of before. Time to experiment!
Make a single pie crust and pre-bake it. Mine was 1 1/2 cups of organic whole wheat pastry flour and 2 pinches of sea salt. Combine that. Cut in some oil–about 1/3 cup and then some water until you’ve got a flaky dough consistency. Roll it out, arrange it in the pie plate and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let that cool.
Cantaloupe and strawberry pie filling
1 organic cantaloupe
10-12 beautiful organic strawberries cut in half
pinch of sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons agar flakes
2 tablespoons kuzu
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Peel and cut the cantaloupe in chunks and blend this without extra water until it is thick and smooth. My Vita-Mix did a great job for me, but you can use a regular blender.
- In a small sauce pan, slowly heat the almond milk and agar. It will need to simmer several minutes until the agar is completely dissolved, so don’t use high heat or the mixture will boil off too much.
- Add the blended cantaloupe. [This is where I had some trepidation. I wasn’t sure what would happen to the beautiful sherbet-orange color of the cantaloupe when I subjected it to heat. Would it turn an ugly brown? Would it lose its flavor?]
- Dissolve the kuzu powder in a little bit of water and add to the cantaloupe mixture. Stir continuously until the mixture, which up to now had a milky look, changes. When the kuzu is totally cooked into the mixture it will become less milky and thicken.
- Add a small squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the filling.
- Arrange the half strawberries in the bottom of the cooled pie crust and pour in the cantaloupe filling. Chill until firm. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries.
The verdict: Nice texture. Naturally sweet. Sweetness will depend on how sweet the fruit is. Almond milk flavor takes over a little too much, even though there was only a small amount of it. Note to self–next time try rice milk or coconut milk.