If, by a rare occurrence, you happen to have some champagne left over in the bottle ( sacrilege) then here is a recipe to turn it into something special, using a seasonal ingredient perfect for summer entertaining.
If, however, you don’t have any champagne left over, then this dessert is a useful excuse to open a bottle, pour out what you need and enjoy the rest as an aperitif.
Everyday food in France is based on seasonality using good quality ingredients. Depending on the region, the recipes will vary according to local produce and tradition. Summer offers the juicy and refreshing Melon Charentais.
Granité de Melon au Champagne
3 Charente melons (as in the previous recipe, 6 small ones provide you with perfect serving receptacles)
350ml Champagne (about half a bottle)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons cognac
Sprigs of mint
Halve the large melons, discard the seeds and scoop out the flesh. If using the tiny ones cut off the top and proceed as with the larger ones.
Place the melon shells in the freezer and let them freeze.
Purée the flesh by pushing it through a sieve into a bowl.
In a small saucepan, make a light syrup with the sugar and water by boiling them together for one minute or until it achieves a temperature of 102 celcius or 215F.Then leave to cool.
Combine the cooled syrup with the melon flesh, lemon juice and Champagne. Freeze in trays, loosening the mixture from time to time as it freezes.
Just before serving turn the mixture into an iced bowl and work it a bit with a fork as it should not be too firm, just slightly mushy. If you reserved the shells, remove them from the freezer and rinse them out with the cognac; then pour the resulting flavoured spirit into the frozen mixture combination and then fill the melon shells with the ice.
Garnish with the sprigs of mint.
Image cc by wonderyo via flickr