Sunday, January 01, 2012

Eat: Grapefruit Pie

Over the past few weeks, whenever I mentioned my plan to make a grapefruit pie I received roughly the same response: a confused grimace. One friend even declared “What??" followed by "Gross!”. I will be the first to admit that I, too, was skeptical up until the moment I took my first bite. This raises the obvious question of why grapefruit pie? It all began with a fundraiser…

My father-in-law agreed to buy some fruit for a local charity. Knowing that Matthew has an affinity for grapefruit, my in-law selected the tart fruit in anticipation of a nice surprise for his son. What he did not know was that this box would hold inside it EIGHTEEN grapefruit. (Yes, you read that right and no, it is not a typo). Upon the arrival of this gift, I knew that I needed to find a recipe ASAP that would knock off a few of these bad boys. All I can say is thank goodness for

In short, this is just like any other fruit pie except its success is solely dependent upon the preparation of the grapefruit. What makes grapefruit bitter is actually the pith (soft white tissue between the skin and membrane), not the fruit itself. I found a helpful tutorial that showed me a great method to ensure that all of the pith is removed. This was incredibly time consuming. As my husband put it, I became “very Zen” as I stood in my kitchen for forty minutes delicately removing every little wisp of white. The good news is that Matthew along with his parents (our lunch guests—it only seemed fair that they get to enjoy some of the fruit too) all declared that the pie was delicious. Truthfully, it mainly tastes like strawberry-flavored gelatin with the grapefruit providing more texture than anything else.

TIME: 2-3 hours
YIELDS: 6-8 servings

1 pie crust, baked
4 pink grapefruit
½ cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 (3 ounce) package of strawberry-flavored gelatin

1. Begin my preparing the grapefruit. Here is the tutorial that I used: How to Flesh a Grapefruit . I would try to explain the process myself but I did not take any pictures (with my hands being full of fruit and whatnot) and it is definitely the type of lesson that needs visual aids. A useful tip to keep in mind is that it is better to sacrifice a bit of the actual fruit than to let even a little pith creep into your pie. Trust me, it is worth the slow effort. Plus you will find you get more efficient as you go.

Once all of the skin and pith are removed, cut the grapefruit into bite size pieces. Place in a strainer over a large bowl. It will need to drain for a few hours or until it yields ¾ cup of juice—whichever comes first. I let my batch drain for two hours, the original recipe calls for four.

2. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and collected grapefruit juice (¾ cup) in a small saucepan. Bring the mix to a boil and then stir in the packet of strawberry gelatin. Allow the filling to cool for a few minutes.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the grapefruit pieces and the filling until well blended. Carefully pour this into the pie crust and gently move your new pie into the fridge so that it can solidify.

I assure you that this pie is amply sweet and can be served without the aid of whipped cream!

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