Spooky, silly or symbolic; carved pumpkins are an essential ingredient to any Halloween celebration. However, this year why not scare up some special fun for your party with a wicked watermelon carving instead?
After crafting your watermelon into an artful effigy, take advantage of the healthy, immune system-supporting qualities of this lycopene leader among fresh produce. At 92 per cent water, as well as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, watermelon is a hydrating post-art snack.
Carving a creative design into a watermelon is a simple way to kick off the festivities, and requires only a handful of common tools. Add a twinkling candle to make a fantastically frightful centrepiece or fill it with a fresh fruit salad or salsas for a more functional, practical approach. Find more recipes, carving patterns and inspiration at watermelon.org. – Family Features
Choosing a Watermelon
With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one:
- Look it over. Look for a round, oval or oblong shaped watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents
- Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. On average, a 454g watermelon yields 15 cups of edible fruit
- Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun
Supplies and Tools:
- Oval or round seedless watermelon
- Cutting board
- Kitchen knife
- Small bowl
- Dry erase marker
- Paring knife
- Melon baller, fluted or regular
- Assorted peelers
- Straight pin
- Battery-operated candle or light
- Candy eyeballs or blueberries
Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
On a cutting board, place the watermelon on its side and use a kitchen knife to cut off 0.5cm to 1.25cm from the bottom (end opposite stem) while taking care to avoid cutting too deep into the white part of the rind.
Cut 1.25cm to 2cm from the stem end to create an opening large enough to fit a small bowl.
Using a dry erase marker, draw eyes, nose and a mouth, along with wavy slits around the carving to let more light flow through. Use a paring knife to cut out the design, being sure to cut through to the red fruit.
Use a fluted or regular melon baller to hollow out the inside of the watermelon. Use a scoop to remove excess watermelon.
Peel the green rind off outside the watermelon.
(Tip: Different peelers work well for different parts of the watermelon, depending on how flat or round the melon is).
Wrap thin strips of cheesecloth around the effigy carving and secure with a straight pin, if needed.
Put a battery-operated candle or light into the carving. Fit a small bowl into the top of the carving and trim away the excess rind to make the bowl fit securely. Fill the bowl with melon balls and attach sweets or blueberries to make eyes with.
Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls
- 1 small watermelon
- 1 package (85g) watermelon or other red flavour gelatin dessert
- Using a melon baller, scoop out 35-40 small watermelon balls. Place on paper towels and set aside.
- Pour the gelatin into a shallow bowl. One-by-one, gently drop watermelon balls into a bowl, roll around, take out and place on a plate covered with a paper towel. Repeat until all the gelatin is used.
- Place the plate of frosted watermelon balls into the freezer. Allow at least two hours to make sure they are completely frozen. Remove from the freezer and let them sit for a few minutes before eating.
Note: To serve with toothpicks, place these in before freezing to help in serving.