Saturday, January 20, 2007

Melon fool

1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt, without gum additives or stabilizers
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt, without gum additives or stabilizers
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon, removed in wide strips
2 tablespoons sugar
4 fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1 small cantaloupe, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, halved and seeded

1 small honeydew melon, 1/2 to 1 pound, halved and seeded

Set a fine- or medium-mesh sieve lined with a paper coffee filter over a bowl. Without stirring the yogurts, gently spoon both of them into the sieve. Place in the refrigerator to drain for 8 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid in the bowl, and spoon the yogurt cheese in the sieve into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and the 4 mint leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Scoop the mint and lemon zest out of the mixture with a slotted spoon. Return the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil until the liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Whisk the cream cheese and chilled lemon-mint syrup into the yogurt cheese.

Cut the rind off the cantaloupe and honeydew melons and cut the flesh into chunks. Set aside a 1-inch cube of each melon. In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining melon pieces and puree until smooth. Add the yogurt cheese mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times to blend.

Cut each reserved melon cube into 6 pieces. To serve, divide the fruit mixture evenly among small ramekins or champagne flutes. Garnish with 1 piece of each kind of melon and mint leaves.


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