A creamy dragon fruit filling baked into a flaky crust makes for a fabulous pie. Turn that beautiful dragon fruit into a delicious dessert.
Turn a beautiful dragon fruit into a one of a kind pie. A wonderful creamy pie with those trademark dragon fruit seed spots makes for a fun visual appearance.
The flavor is subtle and oh so delicious. It will have you wanting a second slice for sure!
This is my second year participating in this fun “freaky fruits” event. Last year my family and I had such a blast trying all of these new to us fruits.
You see, here in a rural part of the Midwest we don’t always see things like rambutan and kiwano melon. Though, that maybe not exactly true as my brother has actually grown kiwano melon in his garden before.
During last year’s event I shared a white cake with blood orange curd filling and dragonfruit buttercream. It was topped with slices of papaya and pomegranate in a flower shape and it was absolutely delicious.
As a savory option, I also made a Tex-Mex sheet pan breakfast that was loaded with veggies and eggs. We have had variations of that recipe several times since and MiMi became a big fan of it instantly.
After the event was over, I still had some fruit left. So I thought it would be fun to turn one of the dragon fruit into a pie.
On that post there was a comment asking if I knew of any traditional pie recipes using dragon fruit. I did not know of any and a quick search didn’t reveal anything useful.
So when a box containing more dragon fruit showed up at my door, I set out to make one. I have to say, I am really glad I did!
This pie turned out to have a great texture. The filling is soft and creamy and those black seeds really show through.
A little information about dragon fruit
Dragon fruit are grown on a hylocereus cactus, also known as the Honolulu queen. The plant only flowers at night and is native to Mexico and Central America.
There are a number of varieties, and they are all stunning to look at. (source: Melissa’s) There are a few varieties of dragon fruit, but they are all known for their bright pink to red exterior and black seeds. It reminds me slightly of a kiwi, but with a much milder flavor.
To eat a dragon fruit you can use a pairing knife to gently peel the exterior off. Alternatively you can cut them in half and scoop out the interior of the fruit much like you would a kiwi or avocado.
They are great for throwing into smoothies or would make a stunning addition to a fruit salad. It’s mild flavor would allow for it to get along with a variety of other flavors.
Making the pie
The dragon fruit has a fairly high water content. So to keep the filling from getting too runny, I cooked the fruit down with some sugar.
I blended it smooth with my immersion blender, but a traditional blender or even a potato masher would work as well. Then I thickened the mixture with a bit of cornstarch.
That way I knew I wouldn’t have a soupy filling in my pie. Nobody wants that!
Then I went to work on the crust. You can use my flaky pie crust recipe, use your favorite recipe or get a crust from the store.
You will want to parbake it a bit before you fill it. So get it in the pan and use a fork to dock the bottom.
To keep it from bubbling up, use pie weights or dry beans to keep it in place. I’ve been using these same pinto beans for years.
Once they are cool, I bag them up and they wait for the next pie crust to come around!
To give the filling some substance, a cream cheese base is whipped up next. I followed the same basic idea of my kiwi and cream pie, but this time mixed the dragon fruit filling in instead of swirling it on top.
That allowed for the fun visual of the dragon fruit seeds throughout the pie. Which I thought gave it a fun look similar to the fruit itself!
Once the filling is ready, it goes in the parbaked crust and back in the oven. It should be baked until it has just a very slight wobble left in the middle.
To test that, just give the pie plate a slight shake. If the middle still looks liquid-y, it needs more time. If it just has a slight jiggle, it is ready.
Allow the pie to cool slowly on the counter for about an hour and then chill until you are ready to serve.
Some More Dragon Fruit Recipes:
Dragon Fruit Cream Pie
- 1 pie crust
- 1 large dragon fruit
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 12 ounces Neufchatel cheese or regular cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 pinch salt
Parbaking the Pie Crust
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Roll out pie crust and place in 9-inch deep dish pie plate.1 pie crust
- Prick small holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.
- Line with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dry beans.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
- Drop oven temperature to 350°F.
- Remove inner flesh from dragon fruit.1 large dragon fruit
- Puree the fruit either in a blender or with an immersion blender. Blend until just barely smooth, but not so much that you obliterate the seeds.
- Place in a medium saucepan with ½ cup of sugar and cook over medium low heat until it starts to simmer.
- Stir mixture frequently while it simmers for about 5 minutes.
- Make a slurry of 1 Tablespoon of water and the cornstarch. Stir into simmering dragon fruit mixture and cook until thickened. Remove from heat to cool.1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until it is smooth and creamy.12 ounces Neufchatel cheese
- Add egg, vanilla, lemon extract and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until well mixed.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- Stir in dragon fruit mixture, then spoon filling into pie crust.
- Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. The pie should be mostly set with just a slight wobble in the center.
- Cool at room temperature for about an hour and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.