Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Watermelon Experiment

I never like to waste food—especially fruit. Fruit to me ... is like gold. It's a precious commodity. I absolutely love fruit! All of the variaties, quite frankly. Yes. Even papaya! I've been known to get rather passionate when I talk about fruit. Well, who doesn't like a good melon, eh? Succulent, refreshing, luscious, satisfying sandia! (See, there I go—I get all revved up talking about it).

On that subject of sandia—sandia is spanish for watermelon, by the way—I found myself with some leftover watermelon after a little family get together recently. Generally, I make "agua de melon," a favorite Mexican drink made with pureed watermelon, sugar and water. This time, I decided to try a dessert; a watermelon pudding tart. It's incredibly easy and fast, and oh-so light! And I didn't waste a bit of the red stuff.

1 c graham cracker crumbs
4 T butter, melted
2 1/2 c watermelon flesh

2 t lemon juice
2 eggs
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c sugar
Whipped cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan, or pie pan with baking spray. In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with the butter, stirring until well mixed. Press mixture into prepared tart pan. Bake 12 -15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a blender puree the watermelon until completely smooth. You should have 2 cups of juice. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice. Over medium-high heat, bring the juice to a simmer.

In a medium, heat-safe bowl, whish together the eggs, cornstarch and sugar until smooth. In a slow and steady stream, pour the hot juice into the egg mixture while continuously whisking. Pour the mixture back into the pan and continue to cook, whixking until thickened. Pour the watermelon pudding into the baked tart crust.

Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until cold. Serve with whipped cream.

I'm still working on my food photography skills, but it looks tasty, no? I'm anxious to try using this little recipe substituting ataulfo mangos instead of watermelon.

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