The Unexpected Fruit To Roast For A Next-Level Ice Cream Topping

Cantaloupe on ice cream
Cantaloupe on ice cream - Drong/Getty Images

It's amazing what a little heat will do for flavor. The principle of heat ushering flavor forward applies across the produce kingdom, yet it is sometimes overlooked when it comes to fruit. But you can wield this transformative element the next time you want to level up your ice cream by roasting an unexpected fruit: melons. Roasted melons make for a healthy and robustly flavored ice cream topper any time of year.

Although watermelons are a well-documented piece of produce to roast or grill, honeydew and cantaloupe are among the roasted melons that will offer a flavor boost to your ice cream game. Both honeydew and cantaloupe have subtle flavors, delivering refreshing sweetness that can, on occasion, skew anemic when compared to their more flavorful fruit counterparts. That's precisely why roasting them is a good idea: It benefits not only the ice cream but crucially, the flavor of the melon itself. Roasting exacerbates the complex flavors within the produce, so a lightly roasted honeydew will have a stronger flavor than when raw.

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How To Execute Roasted Melon On Ice Cream

Grilled fruit
Grilled fruit - Alleko/Getty Images

The method of roasting melons is incredibly simple and a great opportunity for experimentation. Cube your melon, dust the cubes in some sugar, and stick them in the oven until the edges have just a bit of singe. The result will be an intensified melon flavor and a pinch of that nutty caramel undertone that sweet-roasted anything tends to have. As far as prep goes, this Tasting Table guide offers advice on the best way to peel cantaloupe, while this breakdown offers insight into the different kinds of melons you may want to explore roasting.

The perfect place to start is also the most obvious: Scoop your roasted honeydew and cantaloupe cubes over vanilla ice cream. This is the best way to let the flavor of the roasted melons shine while also savoring the texture and simplicity of the base. But if you'd like to play up those caramelized notes, try cantaloupe on top of any nutty flavor, like butter pecan. Boozy ice creams also provide an opportunity to cut the alcoholic flavor ever so slightly with a burst of fruity freshness and savory roast. Not ready to go full-melon? Roasted melon seeds offer a way to roast part of a melon while enlivening your next scoop of 'scream, and can top fruit and dairy-froward flavors alike.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.