#61 Melon Water Ice

Melons are on tip-top form in late Spring and early Summer so I thought I’d better do the only (I think) melon-related recipe in the book. It also seems that we are not going to have any decent weather either, as it rained on St. Swithen’s day and that means it’s going to rain for forty days. Bloody St. Swithen. A bit of a crap Saint if you ask me, if that’s all he did/does. I digress…..Make sure you get a good, ripe melon. I used cantaloupe as it’s the most fragrant, but apparently any will do. A small one is just the right size for the recipe too. I tried doing it using the ice cream maker, but it turns out it’s easier just to stick the mixture in the freezer and break the ice up every now and again. To stabilise it, it has whipped egg whites, which didn’t down well with some that ate it. I don’t know why, as it’s pretty commonly used in all sorts – next time there’s something like that I shall not mention it! If you are squeamish about it, please don’t be, and have a go at making it:

Start off by making a stock syrup by boiling half a pint of water with 4 ounces of sugar and letting it simmer for four minutes. Allow to cool. Whilst you’re waiting, liquidise enough melon flesh to give you about half a pint’s worth and stir in the cool syrup. I found that after adding about three quarters of it, it was too sweet and added a bit more water, so be careful. Add enough lemon juice to bring out the flavour of the melon – it shouldn’t actually taste lemony – about half will do. Freeze the mixture and keep breaking it up with a spoon or wire whisk. When it starts getting quite firm, whisk an egg white until stiff, but not dry, using an electric mixer and add the melon to it spoon by spoon. It froths up a bit – it’s the bubbles in the egg white stabilises the mixture and makes it easy to spoon out when frozen. Return the mixture to the freezer, and when you want to serve it, bring it out at least half an hour before.

#61 Melon Water Ice: 7/10. A lovely, refreshing dessert. The egg made it nice and light. It was very sweet – perhaps too sweet, so I knocked it down a bit for that. I would probably mark it higher if I had eaten it on some sunny veranda somewhere, but hey-ho…