This jellied fruit dish is served in small pieces as an extravagant palate cleanser in its native Japan, where melons are very costly. Here it might well be a light dessert to conclude any meal.
Tear the dried gelatin stick into several pieces and soak in a bowl of cold water to cover for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and seed the melon, then cut into
Squeeze the softened gelatin as you remove it from the water the gelatin will now be very spongy and will shred easily. Shred the softened gelatin into a glass or enamel-lined saucepan. To save every bit of kanten gelatin, strain the soaking water through a fine-meshed sieve and add any salvaged bits to the saucepan. Add the melon liquid and the liqueur, then cook the mixture for 5 minutes over low heat. Stir frequently until the gelatin melts.
Pour the liquid fruit gelatin into a smooth-sided glass or metal mold. Lance any larger bubbles with a toothpick and gently blot away foam from the surface with a strip of paper toweling. Let the gelatin cool to room temperature (and begin to solidify) before covering with clear plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24 in the refrigerator.
When ready to unmold, press gently on the surface of the gelatin near the rim to help release the edges. Place a plate, or cutting board, over the mold and invert. Cut the gelatin into twelve pieces.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.