Sunday, July 8, 2012

Frozen Melon Magic

Yesterday I asked my husband Dicky, master of the understatement, what it was like outside. “Warmish,” was his answer, which to me meant that people were probably fainting from heatstroke right out there on the street, with dogs whimpering 

because their little paws were being scorched by sidewalks hot enough to fry eggs on. Today in New York City it’s supposed to get over 100°F, but we’re lucky compared to those in St. Louis, where it’s been somewhere in the neighborhood of 108°F for a week. I 

had been planning to make little fruit pies today, but owing to the alarming weather, I cancelled those plans real fast and opted for a much cooler treat: frozen melon pops. My melons of choice here are watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, and the recipe is as simple 

as it is refreshing. The basic proportions are 2 cups of melon puree combined with 2/3 cup to ¾ cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil and cooled). For the watermelon pops I added a little lime juice and a good pinch of salt. For the cantaloupe 

pops I infused the syrup with a handful of fresh mint leaves, while the honeydew pops I spiced up with a good amount of finely grated fresh ginger. You can puree the melon in either a food processor or blender, and you can even buy pre-cut fruit in the supermarket 

instead of dealing with whole melons. But it’s nice to have some fresh chilled melon on hand when it’s as hot as this, and it’s a healthier alternative to fat-laden ice cream. Keep cool, my friends (especially you St. Louisans), autumn is right around the corner!

Frozen Melon Pops

Simple Syrup:
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (236 g) water

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 3 weeks.

Watermelon Pops (makes 7):
2 cups (480 g) watermelon puree
2/3 cup (180 g) Simple Syrup
2 tablespoons (30 g) lime juice
Good pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients and pour into 3-oz popsicle molds. Freeze until firm, at least 5 hours.

Cantaloupe-Mint Pops (makes 7):
¾ cup (204 g) Simple Syrup
¼ cup firmly packed mint leaves
2 cups (500 g) cantaloupe puree
2 tablespoons (30 g) lemon juice

1. Combine the hot syrup with the mint leaves and allow to infuse, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Strain the syrup and combine with the remaining ingredients. Pour into 3-oz popsicle molds and freeze until firm, at least 5 hours.

Honeydew-Ginger Pops (makes 7):
2 cups (480 g) honeydew melon puree
¾ cup (204 g) Simple Syrup
1 ½ tablespoons finely grated gingerroot

Combine all ingredients and pour into 3-oz popsicle molds. Freeze until firm, at least 5 hours.

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