Beloved and I ate ourselves stupid this weekend. Ribs, grilled corn on the cob and baked beans on Saturday, and a turkey breast we smoked ourselves, roasted sweet potatoes and coleslaw on Sunday. I also bought a small seedless watermelon, knowing we’d be eating it three meals a day for the next 3 days. But that’s okay – I love watermelon.
I’ve had better watermelons, frankly, and as I gazed at the container of it that I’d set out on the breakfast table Sunday morning I idly mused over how, even if we eat it three times a day for the next 3 days, some of it was going to be thrown out. My mind went from that to wondering if I could make a juice or something, when a light bulb went off over my head. I mean, literally – I sat straight up, eyes huge, and yelled, “OH!!”, causing Beloved to slop his grapefruit juice all over his cheese omelet.
“What???” he asked, apparently under the impression I was on the verge of a heart attack.
“The watermelon!” I exclaimed.
“What about it?”
“I know what to DO with it!!”
Beloved, having great self control, did not give me any further suggestions as to just what I could do with the watermelon. Instead, he settled back down and began rescuing his omelet. “What are you going to do with the watermelon?”
“SORBET!!” I crowed. “Watermelon sorbet!!!”
“Marvelous,” he said, rather absent-mindedly as he wiped off a piece of grapefruit juice-drenched bacon. “Sounds great.”
Fast forward to that evening, as he said, “This is GREAT!!”
And indeed it is. It is simple, too, as well as light and refreshing. I will SO make this again, and soon, too. In fact, I’ll never throw out leftover watermelon again! Indeed – from now on, it’ll be a question of how much I allow my family to eat so I can make this treat.
Note: I used a seedless watermelon, and just cut it into chunks and pureéd it in my blender – the seeds disintegrated. If you use a regular watermelon, you will have to seed it first, of course. Also, you don’t have to use the vodka, but its sole purpose is to keep the texture of the sorbet smooth. Two quarts of sorbet will give you 16 half cup servings, which is like 1/4 tablespoon – less than one teaspoon – of vodka per serving.
Don’t have an ice cream maker? Don’t sweat it – go here for instructions on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.
makes 2 quarts
8 cups cubed watermelon, seeded
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vodka
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy, medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
Place the watermelon in a large mixing bowl and pour the simple syrup and vodka over it. Working in batches, pureé the mixture – in a blender, not a food processor – until no lumps remain.
Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. Scrape into a 2 quart container with lid and place in the freezer until firm.