Have you tried ... Santa Claus melon
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, August 16, 2012
9/18/12 at 10:56 AM
Truth be told, we chose the Santa Claus melon for its name.
Also known as the Christmas melon, this unique fruit seemed a welcomed beacon of cooler seasons to come when we found it on the fruit aisle one hot summer day.
The Santa Claus melon has a mild flavor, generally not as sweet as honeydew melons.
The green and gold speckled melon resembles a small football-shaped watermelon.
The color of the hard shell is a sign of this melon's ripeness. The brighter the yellow, the riper and sweeter it is. An average Santa Claus melon weighs 5 pounds.
Use Santa Claus melons whenever a recipe calls for cantaloupe. Pair with cured meats, soft cheeses, mint, red onion, citrus juice and zest, or tomatoes. Use in fresh salads or appetizers. The Santa Claus melon will keep, refrigerated, for up to two months.
We know of at least one local grower of Santa Claus melons. Don Chiartano and his son, Steven, grow the fruit on their Owasso orchard along with other melons and tree fruits such as figs and pears. They sell their fruits at farmers markets.
Here's a recipe for a tart featuring the melon.
ALMOND MELON TART
1/2 package pie crust mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup ground blanched almonds
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup soft-style cream cheese with pineapple
1 Santa Claus melon, peeled and seeded
1/2 mango, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup apple jelly
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine pie crust mix and 1/4 cup sour cream; stir till moistened. Turn dough onto a generously floured surface. Knead about 12 times, or till dough is firm enough for easy handling. Spray a 10-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Press dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
2. In another bowl, beat egg slightly. Stir in almonds, corn syrup and almond extract. Pour mixture into tart shell, spreading evenly. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is brown and filling set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together remaining 3/4 cup sour cream and cream cheese. Spread atop the almond mixture.
4. Using a cheese slicer or a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the peeled melon and mango or papaya. Arrange the fruit slices atop the filling. Cover and chill for up to 2 hours.
5. Before serving, melt the apple jelly over medium heat in a small saucepan. Brush onto melon and mango. Cut into squares or wedges, and serve immediately.
- adapted from allrecipes.com
Have you tried ...
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- according to SpecialtyProduce.com
- Santa Claus melon season is late spring and summer.
- The Santa Claus melon, also known as the Christmas melon or December melon, is a cultivar of the cantaloupe family.
- The Santa Claus melon's name is derived from its late-season harvest, often arriving near Christmas. Regardless of its name, it is primarily grown during the hot and dry summer months in temperate climates.