If you’ve never had a Crenshaw melon before, you are in for quite a surprise. Perhaps the sweetest of all the muskmelons, Crenshaws soft, succulent and peppery when ripe.
Fresh, incredibly sweet Crenshaw melon is used both raw and cooked, and balances dishes with its refreshing and juicy sweetness. Use them raw in creative cheese boards, salads, granola bowls or simply sprinkled with salt and a squeeze of fresh lime. High heat cooking methods like grilling and searing will caramelize the Crenshaw melons for an extra special fruit experience! Use Crenshaw melons are welcome in any part of the menu.
How to prepare your melons will depend on the recipe you’re using. Here are the most common ways to prepare melons for just about any recipe.
Crenshaw melons are very heavy and have a hard rind, so take extra care when processing them. Always use a sharp chef’s knife and a heavy cutting board, secured with a wet towel underneath to keep the board stable.
- Start by slicing away ½ inch of the peel at the end of the melon where it was cut from the vine. Then, sit the Crenshaw melon upright on this flat surface. Starting at the top, slice away the rind in strips perpendicular to the cutting board. Cut all the way around the fruit, leaving no bitter rind on the melon flesh. Finish by slicing away the remaining round top of the rind.
- Cut the Crenshaw melon in half from top to bottom. Set one half aside.
- Scooped seeds away for roasting, or toss them into the compost bin.
- Lay the long, flat surface of the melon on the cutting board, and cut the fruit into ½” or 1” slices. Serve as is, or sprinkled with spices, salt and lime.
These big botanical berries add peppery sweet freshness to tons of recipes. Whether snacking on raw chunks of Crenshaw melon with lime and salt, chopping them into gazpacho or grilling thick Crenshaw slices alongside jumbo shrimp, Crenshaw melons is an everyday fruit that elevates every meal!
- Grilling: Turning up the heat brings out Crenshaw melon’s natural sweetness. Grill thick slices of Crenshaw along with other melons and stone fruit for a unique warm fruit salad.
- Baking: Crenshaw melons can be baked into cakes, delicate pastries and tarts.
- Confection: Sweet, slightly spicy Crenshaw melons are delicious in jams, jellies and candy making.
There are countless ways to add sweet, succulent Crenshaw melon to your drinks. Crenshaw is delicious in fresh juices, enhanced waters, cocktails, batch drinks, smoothies and liqueurs. Turn them into syrup or toss frozen chunks into your blender to sip on something a little more slushy.
Here are some easy ways use Crenshaw melon in your drinks:
- Juicing: Melons should have their rind and seeds removed before feeding the flesh into an electric juicer. Crenshaw melon juice is delicious on its own or with other fruits and vegetables like ginger, kale, strawberry, mint, lemon, lime, pineapple and guavas.
- Smoothies: To prepare your melons for smoothies, discard the rind and seeds, then slice the fruit into chunks. Freeze them on a cookie sheet with space in between each piece. Once frozen, store them in an airtight container in the freezer. You can easily pop frozen Crenshaw melons cubes into smoothies!
- Cocktails: From liqueurs to tiki drinks and delicate cocktails, Crenshaw melon adds peppery, juicy sweetness and crisp freshness.
- Water: Dice up or melon ball pieces of Crenshaw melon to add to your water bottle along with fresh herbs like mint or basil for an eye catching and delicious refresher.
Fresh Crenshaw melons can be stored on the countertop until they fully ripen. Their waxy rind allows Crenshaw melons to keep a generous shelf life. They can last up to three weeks on the countertop, depending on your climate.
Immediately refrigerate cut Crenshaw melon in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it can keep fresh for up to three days. When not refrigerated, store whole, fresh fruit in a cool, clean and well-ventilated area.
To freeze Crenshaw melons, wait until they are fully ripened. Then, slice the Crenshaw in half, remove the inedible seeds and slice away the hard rind. Freeze sliced or cubed melon on a cookie sheet with space between each piece. Once frozen, store the fruit in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
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