Heat maybe a treat but the amazing melon can deliver equal pleasure on the opposite side of the thermal wheel. I speak of course of the frozen delight known as sorbet. Now granted, the juice of just about any fruit can be made in a sorbet. But melons are particularly well suited to the task, because their flavor and aroma come through even when they are very, very cold. And since their flesh is very smooth when pureed, you don't have to strain out any pulp, that means more fiber in the juice and that means a smoother texture.
Weigh out one pound five ounces of watermelon and puree in your food processor. This is going to yield about three cups of puree total, there. Now move that to a work bowl and mix with two cups of granulated sugar and make sure you stir it until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Then move it to the fridge.
So why bother putting this in the refrigerator when we are just going to turn around and throw it in an ice-cream churn? Because the faster the mixture freezes in the churn, the finer the sorbet texture is going to be. So it makes sense that we should have the mixture as cold as possible before it goes in the churn to cut down on the freezing time. So give it at least two hours in your fridge.
Now churn according to the instructions supplied by your churn's manufacture. Remember, these cores need to freeze for a full 24 hours before you use them. Then you can generally get two batches out of them before refreezing. Oh! And always make sure that the machine is running when the mixture goes in.
Now in 20-25 minutes, this is going to be as set as it's ever going to get inside the churn. So, we are going to remove it and get it into the freezer to harden for several hours. Ah! Melon sorbet, and you can really smell the melon. Well, I can, you probably can't. Let's see how it tastes. Well the texture is dead on perfect but it's a little on the sweet side like ton of cotton candy sweet. I think we are going to have to replace some of our sugar antifreeze with -- well consider the following.
On the fateful night of April 14th 1912 Chief Baker Charles Joughin just jumped off the back of the Titanic and started swimming. Now after frolicking with the ice floes for a couple of hours he was fished out of the chilly drink by some nice people in a passing lifeboat. The question is how he possibly could have survived in those temperatures? He said it was probably because he was tanked to the gills on brandy. And he could be right. If he had enough alcohol in his blood it could have acted as a kind of antifreeze.
Now what does this have to do with making sorbet? Well, it means that if we replace some of the sugar with alcohol we could preserve that texture we have come to know and love while getting rid of some of the sweetness. What kind of alcohol should we use? Nothing wrong with good old vodka, after all it is relatively neutral in flavor. Of course Madory would be nice too, seen how it's made from melon and all.
This time we will take the very same one pound five ounces of melon and we will puree it again in our food processor. But that's not all. This time we are going to add three tablespoons of lemon juice and of course fresh squeezed would be superior to the store bought type. Then two tablespoons of vodka. But wait, there is more. Since we are thinking ahead, no reason not to go ahead and add nice ounces of sugar, that's about one and a quarter cups.
Although you could certainly consume your young sorbet in its current slushy state, I strongly advice to stash this in your freezer and allow it to harden for three to four hours. Believe me, your patience will be rewarding.