Melons and Rice Pudding?!?
We love fruit and experimenting with new flavors at Simply Fruit Rice Puddings. When it comes to cooking with melons, we have discovered that all melons are not the same.
The first time I cooked a melon, I chose a seeded watermelon for my 'Watermelon and Fresh Mint' rice pudding flavor. I was surprised and thrilled with the outcome. Watermelon is a very interesting fruit to cook. It completely changes it's structure when you sweeten and gently simmer it. Instead of being watery, light and porous if goes dense and almost 'apple crunchy' when cooked. Not realizing this the first time, I used a watermelon that had seeds. The second time, with my 'Strawberry & Watermelon' flavor, I intentionally chose a ripe, seedless melon and kept large chuncks of it in tact while I made my fruit sauce. This made it possible to end up with pieces to chop and dice after I had cooked the watermelon. I then added the melon pieces at the end to the finished rice pudding. The watermelon chunks retained this new firm structure for the next 2 weeks, in the rice pudding. They didn't break down or become mushy.
This little discovery will be very useful in the months and years ahead. This added texture and little pops of vibrant added color will make watermelon flavored rice puddings more visually appealing, whether they are displayed in a large bowl on a buffet line or through their clear plastic packages on a cooler shelf in a retail store. The added texture also makes It more interesting and enjoyable to eat.