Friday, October 02, 2009

Watermelon Cake

Fruit is one of my favorite things to eat.

As a kid, I remember picking, cleaning, and eating strawberries until I was sick. Every cherry season you'll hear me say, "I would eat cherries forever if I could!" During blueberry season I dream of quiting my job and joining the ranks of the harvester because I love the way the berries fall into your hands with th lightest of touch - and no juice. I could go on.

Watermelon....ah. Watermelon. I remember feeling releived when I first saw the great/terrible
movie Rubin and Ed with the epic line, "My cat can eat
a whooooooooooole watermelon." It put possibility to my ideas that I too could eat an entire waterm
elon - no need to share. No need for one than one cut. Cut it in half and dig in. I have eaten plenty of watermelons in my life in this manner.

This summer, deep in my watermelon meal replacement kicks, I decided I wanted watermelon cake - a raw dessert. Internet searches for watermelon cake bring up im
ages like this cake. Cute, but not what I was looking for. I thought a raw watermelon cake would be obvious - slabs of watermelon stacked with layered fruit in between. But it wasn't.

It was more difficult than I thought it would be to pair the "filling." It needed to have a consistency that would work well with the cellular crunch of the watermelon - a unique crunch that most fruits don't have. Something too creamy or smooth would feel odd - so no peaches, or bananas. Mangos can be difficult to cut so cutting the cake would not turn out pretty and the top layer would probably slide across the room. A citrus would be nice and compliment the flavor, but I needed it to sit for a few hours and oranges would bring too much added juice. I settled for apples because they have a similar crunch, would cut well without adding too much juice, and a tart apple would pair with the sweet watermelon flesh. This is what I came up with:

Watermelon Cake:
1 whole watermelon
1 green apple
Lemon juice
1/2 cup blueberries

Cut 4 inches out of the middle of the watermelon. Select one that is more oblong than sheprical to avoid irrigular layers. Cut off the rind. Then very carefully cut the 4" slab in half. Set aside.
Core the apple slice into 1/8 inch slices. Dip the cut slices into lemon juice or lemon soda to avoid browning. Arrange on top of one of the watermelon slabs so no piece overlaps but with minimal gaps between the apples. This may take cutting some interesting shapes.
Place the second watermelon slab on top with the angles of the rind cuts aligning with the first slab.
Sprinkle with blueberries and garnish with cut apple shapes. Add other fruit as desired. I created a blueberry compote to "frost" mine.

I came across this similar fun watermelon dessert.

I would have loved to have used more than two layers but I used the other portion of the slabs to make this Watermelon Steak. It was an interesting experiment that turned out very poorly. I might try it again next year, but cooking watermelon for 2 hours is a long time to wait to enjoy the beautiful pink fruit.


Bex said...

super neato. I remember sitting as a kid on the floor with half a watermelon just shoveling it out with a spoon

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oh my gosh, that's beautiful!

Liz² said...

I'm obsessed with watermelons, and watermelon desserts, what an amazing post!! this is probably the most edible watermelon cake I've seen so far!