One of my childhood favourite ice creams was Melona (메로나) – Honeydew melon ice pop. I used to buy it for 100 won (about AU$0.10). It was quite a uniquely flavoured ice cream for that time. The slightly creamy but not overwhelmingly creamy and elegantly chewy texture was very different to any other popsicles around.
Melona is one of best-selling ice cream brands in Korea and there are/were lots of copycat ice pops too. But the most famous brand is Melona (메로나) by Binggrae. I didn’t know how popular this ice cream is around the world until I decided to make it myself. Would you agree? Is it popular in your country? Have you all tasted Melona before?
I also found an interesting fact about Melona. Apparently, it was made to taste more like yellow melon (Korean hybrid -Chamoe 참외) rather than honeydew melon because most Koreans weren’t used to the honeydew melon taste back then (in 1992). Regardless, I was very surprised to find out this fact myself! (If you can read Korean, you can find it yourself from this news article.)
Before I started making Melona at home, I really wanted to try the original version. Because I only remembered the taste from my vague memory from 5-10 years ago! But, alas, I couldn’t find it even at a Korean grocery store I considered big here in Brisbane. So off I went researching for the recipe both in Korean and English, Here, here and here, but none of them seemed to have a good review.
After attempting three times, using various combinations of sweetening – caster sugar, sweet condensed milk, corn syrup and honey etc – and guess-work of course, I came up with the below recipe. The main thing I couldn’t imitate was giving the ice pop a softer chewy texture instead of an icy hard texture. Meanwhile, at least I can say that it contains 100% “real” honeydew melon (not just 0.15% melon syrup) and no artificial additives!
Let me know how yours turn out! It’s super easy and simple to make at home.
Ingredients for 6 Melona pops (Cooking time 15 -20 mins excl. the freezing time of 6 hrs)
- ½ ripe honeydew melon (600g of flesh)
- ¼ cup natural cream (not thick cream)
- 1 tbsp of honey (if you like really sweet ice cream, you could add more)
1. Pour the cream into a pot and add the honey. Boil and stir it on low medium to low heat for about 3 mins. (Stir well to dissolve the honey and not to burn the cream). Turn off the heat, set it aside and cool it down for about 5 mins.
3. Mix step 1 and step 2 in a bowl. whisk well.
You could use an ice cream maker for (possible) extra softness before step 4. Use it per your manufacturer’s manual. (Though I am not really sure whether it actually makes it any softer. I used my ice cream maker in my first trial and I didn’t think it was any softer.)
P.S. My wonderful sister found a store selling melon bar ice pops (different brand but very similar taste) just before I finished this article. The store-bought melon pops have a much stronger flavour than the ones I made, but at least I have control of what are in mine.
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