French Melon Sorbet
I have discovered that there are a fair number of people out there that don’t care for melons. People I never would have suspected. So this blog post might not be very popular but I chalk it up to not having eaten the right melon at the right time.
It is like the difference between eating a tomato in summer and one imported in winter. They are two different creatures entirely. If I only ever tasted a winter tomato, I probably wouldn’t like tomatoes. If I had only ever eaten the anemic, tasteless melon often used for garnish, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. So anyway this leads me to the recipe that I am sharing and my love for local, summer melons.
When the melons come in from the field at Cropthorne Farm they can be smelled from across the barn. The perfume is incredible. Everyone’s eyes get a little brighter. Especially the two little farm girls. They are the quietest when munching on melon. These are the melons you are after. The ones you can smell at the next stall over at the farmer’s market. I particularly love the Charentais variety. It is a French heirloom similar to a cantaloupe with deep orange dense flesh, incredibly juicy and sweet with tropical and floral notes. What is not to like?
One of the perks of working on a farm is that I get to take home melons that don’t make the cut for market. The ones that are so sweet and juicy they can’t contain themselves and crack. We were chatting on Friday about how it would be nice to preserve the melons somehow for the dark months of winter. While I didn’t have any ideas on that front (perhaps a syrup?) I was inspired to create something with these melons. Now, you really need nothing more than a knife and bib to get full enjoyment from a juicy, fragrant melon but sorbet is awfully good too!
This melon sorbet is the perfect refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day. It happens to be on the cooler and cloudy side this week but I can just imagine how it would be under a full bright sun or at the end of a long hot day working on the farm. The flip side is that it also makes a rather dull day a bit brighter.
I am aware that I have only been sharing sweet recipes as of late. I was contemplating why this is. The obviously answer is that I love sweet things but also in summer it is often the only time I use a recipe. I will be sure to share more savoury recipes in the coming months. I just made a tart yesterday with potatoes, caramelized onions and leeks, kale, roasted cherry tomatoes and feta. I think this is one for sharing.
While summer is slipping away, I am still picking blackberries and making melon sorbet. Enjoying every last drop of summer.
Now go sniff out that perfect melon and if you don’t eat it right away with a spoon, try out this sorbet. I am off to figure out a way to get some sorbet to the farm without it melting. It is too good not to share.
French Melon Sorbet
The success of this recipe relies entirely the quality of the melon. It is only worth making at the height of summer with the most fragrant, juicy and sweet melon you can find. I used a Charentais melon, a French heirloom variety similar to a cantaloupe but better. You could try this recipe with a variety of different melons and I am sure it would be delicious.
Makes about 2 cups
2 lb Chanterais or other muskmelon, peeled and chopped (you will have a good pound (about 500g) or 4 cups with peel and seeds removed)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lime juice
Pinch of salt
Remove the peel from the melon. Cut the melon in half and remove seeds. Chop the melon into rough cubes and place in a blender or food processor. Add the sugar, honey, lime juice and salt. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill the mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours, until nice and cold. Freeze the cold mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.
I find it is rather soft right out of the ice cream maker. I prefer to transfer it to a cold container and place it in the freezer for a couple hours before serving.