Melon Ice Candy (Rockmelon Ice Candy) is one of the examples of Philippines homemade “ice blocks” (as we call it in Australia). This is the domestic ones, poured in long clear plastics and tied snugly so that the overall cylindrical shape is plump and not limp, as it affects its appearance once frozen. When I was young, I use to hanged a piece of cardboard in our gate with “Ice Candy For Sale 50c” when I have that entrepreneur bug that shows up every once in a while. Usual flavour I sell was rockmelon as it is the easiest Ice Candy to make. Little kids use to knock on our door to buy some of this icy treats and I usually skipped myself afterwards to the “Sari-sari Store” (mini shop that sells everything) to buy me some “lollies” (candies).
Miss M and Mr. Adventurous likes eating this icy treats, just be careful with under 8 years old as they might gag/choke on the plastic if they are not use to eating Ice Candy. There is an art on how to eat Ice Candy, first you have to bite a small tear on the corner of the flat end of the plastic and with either your teeth or two fingers, rip the sealed flat end, exposing the end bit of the Ice Candy. Once you have opened the plastic you can either push it up by squeezing the knotted end of the plastic and eat it like a typical ice block or you can gently bite the plastic to make the Ice Candy inside breakdown into granita like consistency and enjoy eating it that way, pushing up the Ice Candy as you consume it by squeezing the plastic on the other end. When I was a kid, we usually eat 1/3 of it and then placing it on a flat surface, with one hand holding the opening to close it tightly, and with the other hand we gently pound it with our lower palm to crush the Ice Candy.
Here is the Melon Ice Candy (Rockmelon Ice Candy) recipe, almost an exact copy of the Melon Drink I have previously posted except you add more sugar.
MELON ICE CANDY (Rockmelon Ice Candy)
½ large Rockmelon, shredded
1 tspn McCormick Melon Flavor
6 cups (1 1/2 litres) water
¾ cup white sugar
25 pcs ice candy plastic casing (size: 1 1/2 x 10)
*used AUS Measuring Cups & Spoons
~ Using a soup spoon, scoop the seeds and pulp out of the rockmelon. Using a metal sieve, gently extract the juice out of the seeds and pulp by squashing with the back of the soup spoon. Place the extracted juice into the bowl which you will use for the rockmelon strands.
~ Using your little shredder tool, put a light/medium pressure while you run it along the length of the rockmelon flesh. Do not dig too deep, the strands should be like fat spaghetti strands. Stop shredding once you see the green lining of the rockmelon, be careful that you don’t include that green lining.
~ In a large bowl, pour in water, melon flavor and sugar. Stir till the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in the shredded rockmelon and stir a couple of times.
~ Place a funnel spout inside the opening of the Ice Candy plastic casing, holding them together tightly so that no mixture can escape. Stir the mixture before ladling so that you get even proportion of melon strands and liquid. Pour in a ladleful of the rockmelon mixture.
Tip: If the plastic casing overflows, tip the funnel back to the bowl while holding the connection tightly as you tip the excess.
~ Make sure that you have approximately 6-7cm (about 4 fingers across *like in the picture*)empty gap from the opening of the plastic to make room for the knotting.
~ Twist the plastic just on top of the cased melon mixture, leaving a little bubble is normal. The Ice Candy has to be firm but not too tight. If it is too tight, it might leak when you freeze it or worst the plastic will rip.
~ As you pinch the twisted part with your thumb and forefinger, wrap the top end over your thumb and tuck it under towards your inner palm and swing it underneath back to your thumb and forefinger. The wrapping around your thumb has to be tight, slowly withdraw your thumb while you insert the top end part of the plastic through where your thumb has been. Pull it well till you have a tight knot.
~ The secret to the tight knot is, do step 6 as near as possible to the top of the melon mixture for a firm Ice Candy.
~ Practice makes perfect! You can practice with water first and try knotting some trial Ice Candy plastic casings.
~ Once you have done all your Ice Candy, place them in a flat surface in your freezer lying down. You can stack them on top of each other (maximum is 3 layers), but don’t put anything else on top of them as you don’t want them to burst inside your freezer. When your Ice Candy are fully set, serve it whenever you need something sweet or just to cool off from the summer’s heat.
- You can buy the plastic Ice Candy casings in most Filipino Shops. If you have relatives or friends going back to the Philippines ask them to bring some back. The plastic Ice Candy casings varies in thickness, just use whatever you prefer.