How to cut a citron melon (without cutting yourself)

After I turned the citron melons I harvested a few weeks ago into two types of jam (the first with orange, vanilla and star anise; the second with ginger and lime), vegan mincemeat, and candied citron melon for Christmas baking, I think I got a pretty good handle on prepping them.

Citron melons are not unlike quince: you have to work hard to coax them into something delicious. But then, what a reward! All my worries that citron melons weren’t worth growing in the garden have been dissipated; they are a wondrous fruit, and I will certainly grow them again next year, though in much less quantity.

When I was cutting another citron melon this morning I took some impromptu photos of the process.

1

First and foremost, the knives must be very sharp. Citron melons have a tough skin and very dense flesh.

To get a better handle on the slippery melon, cut a thick slice off one side so you can place the melon flat on the cutting board. Because there was no second pair of hands around, I could not take a photo of this step.

Quarter the melon, then cut it into smaller wedges. Cut each wedge in half.

2

Generously remove the soft pulp around the seeds and discard it. This part is gooey and not used.

Save the unblemished seeds (quite a few get nicked when you cut the melon) for yourself or your gardener friends.

3

Once you have thoroughly removed all the seeds and soft pulp…

4

…peel each chunk with a vegetable peeler, preferably one with a wide blade.

5

After neatly peeling all the pieces…

6

…cut them into the desired size. Here I used a mandoline for slicing.

7

Proceed with your recipe. The melon is usually mixed with sugar and left to sit at least overnight.

More about that, and some recipes, next time.

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