We mentioned yesterday that we helped prepare food for a moderately-sized party. Some of that food included fruit — chopped melon, grapes, strawberries — things easy to eat while milling around. We picked up several honeydew melons; one too many, as it turned out. As we were cutting the melons, it quickly became clear that they had a thick layer of fruit. If we cut into the last remaining melon, we’d have way too much honeydew (we did have too much anyway, but we’d rather have too much than too little). Normally, we’d just eat the melon over the next week or so, but we can’t.
Why? Well, we’re headed out of town for a week or so. Now, we could put the melon in the fridge and hope for the best, but we thought, why not make sorbet? With that in mind, we popped the ice cream bowl into the freezer, and we had a plan for at least some of the melon.
Use the ripest melon you can find. We know that, if you get it at the supermarket, that’s a really tall order. We left our melon to sit out on the counter for a few days to help it “ripen.” It doesn’t really, but it does help. The lemon juice is there to hold the color; we didn’t have any, so we added just a pinch of ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder), which should do the same thing. For the sugar, we can’t tell you how much you’ll need in advance, as it depends on the size of your melon. In our case, we ended up with about 6 cups of blended fruit, meaning we needed 6 times 1/4 cup or 1 1/2 cups. The amount of sugar is important to keep the sorbet soft when frozen — it lowers the freezing temperature.
Procedure in detail:
Blend. As you cut up the melon, place the chunks and lemon juice into a blender. We chopped melon until our blender pitcher was full, which was about a half a melon. Then we whirled the daylights out of it by cranking the blender to high and letting it run for a few minutes.
Sweeten. Let the juice settle a minute — ours was frothy — and estimate the amount of blended melon. Most blender pitchers will have markings on the side, making it easy. Add 1/4 cup sugar for every cup of blended fruit. Blend to mix in thoroughly.
Chill. Transfer the sorbet mix to a refrigerator and let it chill overnight. Think of this as the pre-freeze, getting the mix ready for quick-freezing the next day.
Churn. Set up an ice cream machine and churn your sorbet mix according to the manufacturer’s directions. In our case, we use a KitchenAid ice cream freezer attachment for our mixer and need to churn for about 15 minutes. This gives it enough time to freeze up pretty well and incorporate air into the sorbet to make a smooth, creamy dessert.
Pack. Scrape all the sorbet into an airtight container and store it in the freezer. Don’t feel badly if you need to taste it as you’re packing it up.
Surprisingly, this has a nice strong melon flavor, even more than just the pieces of melon, and, while it isn’t necessarily a flavor we associate with frozen treats, it’s wonderful. And, since it’s made from fruit, we’ll say that it might even be good for you. Well, not as good for you as eating the melon as is, but, perhaps, a better choice than ice cream. Given that we made a delicious frozen treat with about 30 minutes of work, we’ll say five stars.