This Instructable will show you how to do a simple melon carving technique that can be used to carve any type of melon. in this demo i will show you how to carve a cantaloupe.
Melon Carvings like these can be done in 5 or 10 minutes and look awesome on a buffet or to impress friends when you have a dinner party.
Step 1: Materials
Heres what you need left to right:
Melon - in this case i used a cantaloupe
Fruit and vegetable carving knife- i show 2 styles here the thin bladed wooden handled knife is actually just a paring knife but it is one that has a thin blade this works pretty well for carving and is easy to find, i found this one at Sur la Table for around $6.
The yellow handled knife has a super thin blade and is the most ideal knife for fruit and vegetable carving. this type of knife is called a thai carving knife. they are sort of hard to find, the company that made this one is called Kom Kom . You can purchase one of these knives from www.chefgarnish.com
U/V cutter- basically it has two ends one is a channel in the shape of a V the other a U. you can find one of these at the same web site as the knife or high end kitchen supply stores may also sell them. And actually i have made my own as well.
Deba knife or chefs knife- you just need a large knife so that you can take slices off of the melon to create a base for the melon to stand up.
Step 2: cutting both ends of the melon
Using your Deba or chef's knife.
Cut both ends of the melon take off just enough of each end to expose the flesh of the melon and make the melon where it will stand up on either end. you can see by my scrap pieces laying next to the melon you don't need to cut off much to make it stand up.
Step 3: time to start carving
start by sitting your melon upright (put whatever side looks the nicest upward)
next in the center of the exposed area stick the U cutter about 1/2" deep and rotate this will create a circle on the top of the melon.
Step 4: first cut with the thai knife
take your Thai knife and lay the blade flat on top of the melon with the tip touching the edge of the circle you just made. and what you want to do is basically just cut away a ring of melon from around the center circle.
the piece you remove needs to be a thin little donut
you are just doing this to make the center piece pop up
Step 5: whip out the U cutter
first take your U cutter and plunge it about 1/2" deep at an angle (look at the picture) so that the tip of the cutter is just under your center circle.
pull the cutter out and repeat immediately next to your last cut
work you way all the way around it should look like a flower when you are done
Step 6: time to relief the first part of the flower
Next using your Thai knife plunge into the melon parallel to the table about 1/2" down the side of the melon (look at the pic)
now start working the knife all the way around the melon plunging the blade about 1" into the melon the whole way around
once you complete a cut all the way around the melon make a cut through the ring you just created and carefully remove it from the melon
if you did this correctly yours should look something like mine
Step 7: everything gets very easy from this point
Ok looking at your melon you have a little flower on the top the next step is just like the last.
using you U cutter plunge about 1/2" deep on the newly exposed flesh of the melon remembering to keep the cutter angled up
work your way all the way around just as you did before until you have gone all the way around the melon.
Step 8: Relieving the next ring
In this step you will do just as you did before giving relief to the top flower.
only this time we are going to angle the knife down as you work your way around the flower remember slowly work you knife around the circumference of the melon going in about 1" the whole way around
once you complete the the circle do as before and cut a notch in the ring so that it can be slid away from the melon.
Step 9: now just repeat and repeat
Basically what you have to do now is just keep repeating the last steps making your plunge marks
And then relieving the pedals with the Thai knife remember to stay angled up a bit
Step 10: when do i know when to stop?
You can stop making rows of pedals when you tilt the melon towards you on look at it straight on you should not be able to see any of the rind.
Step 11: Last step!!
Time to display
figure out which side you want it to lean on. and cut a notch into the side of the rind to lean the melon on.
also if any part of your melon seems to have come loose you can always make repairs using toothpicks (no one will notice, they are very easily hideable).
Step 12: ready for display
Ta da. that was pretty easy wasn't it.
Hope you had fun
Please leave some comments or pictures on how your own Melon carvings turned out