A week or two ago, I was doing my standard lurking in Whole Foods when I came across a big, fat display of muskmelons. Heavy, slightly damp and green tinged, these melons whispered my name seductively as I passed. Their distinctive, earthy-sweet melon smell hung in fragrant clouds around the display, perfuming passerby as they hurried to and fro in search of other, shinier fruits. Hesitantly, I stopped. Oh, you tricky melons...how many times have I taken one of you home, only to carelessly let you rot on the counter top?
Basically, a lot.
This time, with an ice cream maker as my secret weapon, I vowed that this melon would not go to waste. I confidently hoisted a round, promising fellow from the pile and finished my binge-shopping. Any trip to Whole Foods feels like a shopping binge in my opinion, and although I would rather go to the weekend farmer's market, sometimes I NEED a ripe fruity treat in the middle of the week. Anyway, I hustled my melon home and left him sitting on the counter. For six days. On the seventh day, as the melon began to display his doubts of being eaten with the emerging presence of fruit flies, I made melon sherbet.
So, the slim difference between sorbet and sherbet (because I KNOW you were all asking yourselves this question), is that sherbet has milk or some other fat in it that makes it creamy. Sorbet is basically fruit, ice and sugar. I think melon is fantastic for sherbet. Melon puree has it's own natural creaminess, but with the addition of a little whole milk, honey and that crucial, tasty pinch of salt, it transcends. Summer, frozen against the winds of time in your freezer.
Melon Sherbet (from 101 Cookbooks)
- 1 pound of juicy, sassy melon (any variety with orange flesh, such as cantaloupe)
- 1/4 cup mild flavored honey (I would add half of this and taste, if your particular melon is really sweet, you may want to cut down on the honey)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- generous pinch of salt
Cut the melon flesh from its rind into a medium bowl. I chopped into cubes and pureed in a blender. You will need 2 cups of puree.
Add the milk, and salt. Now blend in some of the honey and taste. Add more to taste, but be careful not to overpower the super-fresh taste of the melon. When it is flavored to perfection, pour into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
While the sherbet is delightfully slushy at this juncture, I recommend freezing for a couple more hours.
And for an added treat...
I had considered throwing a lemon cookie or gingersnap into the mix, but instead decided to go the all natural route. I sliced up a pineapple into thick rings, rubbed it with brown sugar and threw it on the grill for about 3 minutes on each side. You just want it to be warm and juicy, with light grill marks.
I let the pineapple cool, scooped in some sherbet and added a mint garnish. Tropical and delicious!