Monday, July 19, 2010

Watermelon Sorbet

We've had a sweltering summer so far, and if you've been sweating as much as I have (attractive, right?) you're in desperate need of something to cool yourself down. Now, you can either grab a sports drink to replace those lost electrolytes, or you can whip up a batch of this lovely Watermelon Sorbet.

It only uses a few ingredients, is incredibly fast and easy to prepare, and comes from David Lebovitz, a man who truly knows his ice creams. I love to make ice cream, but hadn't ever tried one of his recipes. Given how much everyone raves about them, I had a feeling this would be good, and it didn't disappoint. The watermelon flavor is intense and gives the sorbet great color.

It was cool and refreshing, but was almost a bit too sweet for me. I would have liked a little more tartness from the lime juice, so I've increased the amount in the recipe below. You could alternately reduce the amount of sugar added, depending on how sweet your melon is. Definitely try a piece (or 6) first and use your best judgment. I pureed my melon in a blender and then passed it through a fine sieve to ensure it was free of seeds and pulp, measuring as I went.

Texturally, this sorbet was just a tiny bit icy for my taste. When it first came out of the ice cream maker, it was the perfect consistency, but as it hardened in the freezer, more ice crystals developed. Since vodka doesn't freeze, the small amount added to the sorbet is what helps soften the texture. The original recipe called for 1 or 2 Tablespoons, and I only used one, which was silly, since generally speaking, the more vodka, the better! If using alcohol isn't your thing (but wait, what else is there?), be prepared to get a very hard, icy sorbet. You may be better off freezing the mixture in popsicle molds if you have them.

Watermelon Sorbet
Yield: About 1 quart
3 cups watermelon juice, pureed and strained (from about a 3lb watermelon)
1/2 cup sugar
Big pinch of kosher salt
Freshly squeezed of 1 lime juice
2 Tbsp vodka

1. In a small, non-reactive pan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of watermelon juice with the sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
2. Remove from the heat and combine with the remaining watermelon juice, lime juice, and vodka.

3. Chill thoroughly and then churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz


  1. I can't wait to try this. I love watermelon, thanks for sharing : )

  2. Mmm these were so so yummy...And how cute are the little white bowls and garnish on each one...


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