Last week we got a Canary Melon in our local box. Honestly I had never heard of Canary Melon before, and I was sort of hoping we’d get arugula instead so I could just avoid it altogether. Canary Melon sounds terrible, like a fruit made out of birds or a big sweet egg.
Luckily my first instincts about the Canary Melon were way off base. In actuality this little, slightly lumpy melon is like a cross between a canteloupe and a honeydew melon. It has canary yellow skin and bright white, firm flesh. As soon as I tasted the canary melon I knew I wanted to make something cold with it in celebration of the end of summer here in Austin.
The musky sweet flavor of the melon lends itself beautifully to this simple ice cream. I adapted a strawberry ice cream recipe from the instruction manual that came with my Cuisinart ice cream machine, but you could really use any vanilla ice cream base and get a good result.
Canary Melon Ice Cream (makes 1-1/2 quarts, or about 10 servings)
1 cold Canary Melon, seeded and chopped*
1 c. sugar, divided
2 Tbs. lemon or lime juice
1 c. milk
2 c. heavy cream
Seed and chop the canary melon. Remove skin. Puree melon chunks in a food processor; add 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice to food processor and pulse until sugar is dissolved. Strain melon puree through a mesh sieve, reserving one cup of liquid & melon pulp. In the same food processor (no need to rinse the bowl), combine milk and granulated sugar. Process for about 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
Turn ice cream machine on, pour milk mixture, cream, and one cup of melon juice through ingredient spout. Let mix until thickened, about 30 minutes. Add the melon pulp to the ice cream in the last five minutes of mixing.
*I saved time by cutting the canary melon as soon as it ripened and storing the prepared melon in an airtight container in the freezer for about a week. I pureed it straight out of the freezer and everything tasted terrific.