Melon Gelée

melon, gelatin sheet, rice wine vinegar

Chang’s melon gelée was a happy accident; gelatin and melon juice was put in the fridge instead of the freezer and melon gelée was created instead of the frozen melon ice cube needed for melon consommé. Melons and oysters sound like strange combination, but the sweet-saltiness of the of oysters is heightened by the fresh taste of melon.

honeydew

Chang doesn’t specify what kind of melon to use in this recipe, but in the anecdote where he talks about how the gelée was created, he talks about watermelon. Instead of watermelon, I choose honeydew because I love how honeydews taste and I thought the green would look really nice as a gelée.

honeydew ready to puree

This was my first time making a gelée and it showed! My gelatin didn’t gel and I ended up with more of a thickened melon soup. I was expecting a jello-like consistency, except more natural tasting, but since the gelée didn’t gel, it just tasted like honeydew juice.

not-so-gelée

I’m not too sure what I did wrong, but I think the strength of my gelatin sheets might be different from what’s required. The recipe advises blooming the gelatin sheets in hot tap water, then wringing them out afterward, but when I bloomed my sheets in hot water they liquefied instantly so I couldn’t wring them out to add to the melon juice.

After the first sheet liquefied, I bloomed another sheet in cool water which I was able to wring out, but when I tried to stir it into the melon juice, it didn’t dissolve.

melon slurry

When melon gelée is properly set, it should look like shattered glass, but mine looked like a puddle of green goo. Still, I decided to give it a go on some oysters to see how it tasted.

It was sweet with a tangy vinegary finish; interesting, but not something I would make again. If the juice had gelled the bounciness of the gelée would have been an interesting texture contrast, but my minor fail gave no textural contrast. My melon gelée was a bust, but the good thing was I bought a lot of oysters to top. After the first one with gelée I had the rest naked. I guess I just love naked oysters!

oyster with melon "gelée"

8 Comments add yours

  1. Yum!!! The combo makes good sense to me. What kind of oyster did you use?

    Julie,
    I used a local oyster: Pacific Little Wings.

    steph on February 26th, 2010 at 4:13 am
  2. Nice photos and recipe, please where can I buy the recipient of 40 ml? and the others you have, can you tell me by twitter? ascliment4
    Thanks
    Ana

  3. Naked oysters. I like those two words together.

  4. Would be cool to do a duo or trio of different melons.

  5. I can explain what happened! Yaaaye, my patisserie education finally paying off! =3

    Sheet gelatin needs to be bloomed(aka softened) in COLD water but needs to be dissolved in HOT liquid — or rather, liquid no hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I dunno why it told you to use hot water. O__o So what you should have done is,
    1. Soften gelatin in cold water.
    2. Wring out excess water from gelatin.
    3. WARM up the melon juice stuff to somewhere between 90 and 140 degrees(gelatin won’t dissolve unless it’s at least 90).
    4. Then stir in gelatin until all melted and pour the stuff into whatever container you want, chill, and wait for it to set!

    Hope that helps!

  6. Warming all the juice can change the fresh flava, so just warm a little, say a 5th.
    Cold water, cupla mins, wring out gelatin sheet, dissolve in said 1/5th, then mix with remaing fresh 4/5 and whisk..
    Starining juice for fibres will give a clearer glossier gel
    Like the idea for a trio
    Thought a ginger jel would be cool too, but bromelin in ginger stops it gelling, like pineapple, check out davidlebovitz.com/gelatin for more info..
    Love the blog, great feedback, feedforward and feed fully ideas..

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