They are sweet. They are enormous. Muskmelons are in-season right now at the farm stands. Freezing these bargains can preserve this summer treasure for at least a little while longer.
At the farm stand this week, I found a beautiful muskmelon that was bigger than my head with an enticing aroma that begged me to buy it, even though I still had a half of a large one at home I had purchased at the farmers market. They were both pretty close to perfect –– sweet, flavorful, juicy, with the thinnest of skins. When I started chopping, I couldn’t believe how much fruit I had before me.
Freeze to enjoy later
Melons are best eaten fresh, but freezing will extend the life for a while. Cut the muskmelon flesh into cubes, and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, just like we do with berries. Once firm, remove from the sheet and place in freezer containers to take out as you need it, perhaps in a smoothie or shake. Or turn the flesh into a traditional sorbet puréed with a little lemon and simple syrup.
More than one method
Of course, you can make a traditional granita by puréeing the flesh of the melon and placing it in a shallow dish and freezing it, scraping it with a fork every half hour or so for a few hours. You’d better set a timer so you don’t forget!
But my favorite method to preserve these flavorful fruits is to make a quick one-ingredient muskmelon granita with the food processor doing all the work. Nothing added, no sugar, no syrup, no lemon, just straight-up melon.
You can use this technique with other melons as well. My granddaughter’s favorite is watermelon “ice cream” and it is completely guilt-free!
One-Ingredient Muskmelon Granita
It’s a dessert, a quick snack, or a refreshing palate cleanser, and it is beyond easy. Pick in-season local fruit for the best flavor and natural sweetness.
1 large muskmelon
Scrub the outside of the melon well and dip in a large bowl of water to which you’ve added a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. You want to get the outside of the melon as clean as possible before you peel and slice it.
Once washed, peel the melon, then cut it into halves and remove the seeds. Double check for seeds.
Cut into 1/2-inch or so cubes. Pat them dry with a towel and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Freeze until solid, depending on your freezer and how small you cut the cubes, perhaps an hour to hour and a half.
Remove from the freezer and place in your food processor. Pulse until you reach the desired consistency, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides and bottom.
You can pack this into containers and keep in the freezer. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before spooning out, then give it another quick scrape to restore the texture.
You can also do the same with watermelon or honeydew.
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