Summer Melon Cake

3 C flour

4 t baking powder

1 t salt

¾ C butter, at room temperature

1 C granulated sugar

3 eggs

2 ¼ C puréed cantaloupe or orange-fleshed muskmelon (about 4 C melon chunks)

Glaze

1¼ C powdered sugar

¼ C fresh Meyer lemon juice or orange juice

Strips of lemon zest from Meyer lemon, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. In a medium bowl and with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Place the melon chunks in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients in two parts to the butter mixture, alternating twice with the melon purée. After each addition, stir the mixture until smooth, making sure to clean the batter from the edges and bottom of the bowl. Mix the batter again on medium-high for about 2 min. Pour the batter into a greased and floured tube cake pan. Bake 40-50 min., or just until a cake tester comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by mixing powdered sugar with the Meyer lemon juice or orange juice until smooth. Cool the cake in its pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack. Spoon or pour glaze over the warm cake. Garnish with strips of lemon zest, if desired.


Melon Carpaccio with Lime

Use a culinary mandolin to get beautiful, uniform thin slices. Or sharpen your largest chef’s knife.

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½ C sugar

4 sprigs mint plus small leaves for garnish

½ t thinly sliced fresh red chili (such as jalapeño or Fresno)

½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

½ C fresh lime juice

½ 5-lb. melon, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

½ t lime zest

 

Bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add mint sprigs and chili. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Remove syrup from heat; cover and let steep for 15 minutes for flavors to infuse. Strain syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; stir in lime juice. Syrup can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled. Arrange melon slices in a glass baking dish. Pour syrup over melon in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours to allow flavors to meld. To serve, divide melon slices among plates, over-lapping them decoratively. Garnish with mint leaves and lime zest. Pour remaining syrup in dish into a small pitcher.

 


Melon and Blueberry Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

A healthy summer salad that can be amped up with a pinch of cayenne. You can also try it with a bit of Tajin chili-lime powder, available at many supermarkets, including Walmart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tajin-Fruit-With-Lime-Seasoning-5.3-oz/10849977

 

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2 C Galia or cantaloupe melon, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 C watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 apple, thinly sliced (a combination of red and green is nice, but choose whatever you like)

1 C blueberries

4 C arugula

¼ lb feta cheese, crumbled

 

Dressing:

4 medium shallots

Zest and juice of 1 lime

¼ C apple cider vinegar

1/3 C olive oil

1 T honey

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

½ t Tajin chili-lime powder OR Sumac (optional)

Sea salt, to taste

 

Roast the shallots: Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the shallots in an oven tray with the skin on, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast for 45 minutes. Allow them to cool enough to handle and remove the skins. Transfer the shallots to a food processor, mini-prep or Magic Bullet and add the remaining dressing ingredients. Blend well, taste and adjust for salt and spice.

 

Put the arugula in a large, wide serving bowl and scatter it decoratively with the melons, apple slices and blueberries. Add the crumbled feta and lastly drizzle with the vinaigrette. Extra dressing can be served on the side. Serves 4.


Melon Cake

melon cake

Never thought you could cook melon?  Try this moist, tasty cake as a Fourth of July dessert.  The flavor is light, but rich.  The trick is to use a really ripe, perfumy melon.

3 C flour
4 t baking powder
1 C granulated sugar
3/4 C butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
2 1/4 C  puréed orange-fleshed muskmelon
1-1/4 C confectioners’ sugar
1/4 C meyer lemon or orange juice

Blueberries and chopped mint for garnish

Preheat oven to 350̊F. Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the granulated sugar and butter until fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in two parts to the butter mixture, alternating twice with the melon purée. After each addition, stir the mixture until smooth. Be careful to clean the batter from the edges and bottom of the bowl. Then mix the batter on medium-high for about 2 min. Pour the batter into a greased and floured tube cake pan. Bake 50 min., or just until a cake tester comes out clean. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by mixing confectioners’ sugar with the lemon or orange juice until smooth. Cool the cake in its pan for 10 min., then turn it out onto a rack. Spoon or pour glaze over the warm cake.  Garnish with blue berries and chopped mint.