I love connecting with readers. Amanda left a comment a few weeks ago about adapting a recipe for sherbet using cantaloupe. I asked her if she’d share her lovely picture and recipe with you. Yay! She agreed. Thanks, Amanda! (Now if only I wasn’t allergic to melon…sniff, sniff.)
This sherbet, adapted from Lindsey’s Strawberry Sherbet recipe, practically screams summer. Delicately flavored, it turned out to be a delicious way to use up an overripe cantaloupe I had on hand, but I imagine it would also be equally wonderful with honeydew, papaya, or any combination of those. We’ve been enjoying it several ways: served atop sugar cookies; as a smoothie, blended with bananas and strawberries; and on its own, simple and sweet.
adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated
1 very ripe cantaloupe, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup vanilla sugar*
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons vodka
1 cup heavy cream
In a food processor, puree cantaloupe until smooth (you may need to do this in batches if you have a small processor). Remove 1/2 cup of the cantaloupe puree and add it to a saucepan with vanilla sugar, lime zest and juice, and salt. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add vodka, and return mixture in the food processor. Give it one more quick whirl to combine everything, then refrigerate mixture until thoroughly chilled.
When the cantaloupe puree is cold, using a whisk, whip the heavy cream in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. While whisking constantly, add the puree to the cream in a slow, steady stream against the side of the bowl.
Immediately start ice cream machine and pour the puree/cream mixture through the feed hole. Churn until the sherbet has the texture of soft-serve ice cream.
Transfer to a plastic container and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the sherbet. Freeze until firm, about three hours. Serve.
Makes about 1 quart.
*Vanilla sugar is simply sugar infused with vanilla beans. To make it, place 1 cup or more of granulated sugar into a container, layer some cut vanilla bean pieces on top (it’s okay if you’ve already removed the seeds for another use), then layer another cup of sugar on top. Shake it up every couple of days or so, and after about a week, you will have a lovely fragranced sugar, which you can keep adding plain sugar to as you use. Vanilla sugar is great is almost any baking recipes, and also makes a great gift! If you don’t have vanilla sugar on hand, regular granulated sugar is perfectly fine.