When I get an idea in my head, I might as well drop everything and just get it out of my system, or else. If I am craving mango, suddenly a dozen mango-centric recipes pop in my head. If I’m sugar-deprived, I think of making cookies, and it makes the work day unbearable, because as much as I love what I do, I would much rather hide in the kitchen measuring out flour and softening butter. In fact, I often find myself midday, thinking of what I want to cook and strangely, it motivates me to get all my work done on time, so that I could rush home and make that meal.
Last week, I’ve found myself watermelon-obsessed, and while, it’s not the fruit that is in season in June, I don’t care, because I find that when it is in season, either the weather has cooled off considerably, or I’ve gotten used to the heat. Besides, being on a David Lebovitz kick, armed with a dangerous book that is being held responsible for expanding waistlines and wide grins across the globe, I found a recipe for watermelon sorbet and it was pretty much all I could talk about it until I made it.
And afterwards, it was still pretty much all I could talk about. Only this time I was talking about how delicious it was. Incredibly enough, it tasted so much like fresh watermelon (imagine that!), but it had a bit more sweetness and was colder! I know, it sounds crazy to be amazed that when you make food from scratch, it actually tastes like the food you used to make it. I guess it’s sad how we’ve arrived to this point in our consumption – when we think it a luxury to find something that’s a derivative, resembling its underlying ingredient!
In any case, I made a few slight changes with David’s recipe. I confess being a bit too lazy and lacking ample time, so I didn’t bother with picking out the seeds. I also omitted the chocolate because, while the aesthetic of it pleased and intrigued me, I didn’t want to taste chocolate with my watermelon. I guess it was the purist in me, but I wanted the sheer simplicity of the fruit – nothing else. Finally, I didn’t do much straining and in the end, am glad to have done so. I liked tasting the little watermelon fibers with each bite – it made me think of the actual fruit that much more.
I loved the taste of it. LOVED it. But of course, in my doubting fashion, wondered if it should be tarter. KS, who generously volunteered to consume the great majority of the batch, said that it was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I should feel free to make more. Soon.
I suppose I should feel better about myself having made a fat-free frozen treat. With minimal sugar, this was almost like biting into the watermelon itself. I wonder how long I’ll last before I start dipping into the French custards – that’s really the only problem with David’s book – I cannot decide which ice cream to make next, and equipped only with once ice cream maker at home, this might be a difficult conundrum facing me in the next few days. Oh decisions, decisions!
3 cups (750ml) watermelon juice
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
big pinch of salt
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1-2 tbsp vodka (optional)
1-2 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat about half a cup of watermelon juice with the sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir until the sugared syrup into the remainin 2 1/2 cups watermelon juice in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice and vodka, if using.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the mini chocolate chips.
I find that it’s best to get watermelon juice by scooping out the flesh and pureeing it in a blender. If you like, you can pick the seeds out before hand. I’m too busy for that, so I just get rid of the big, black seeds and leave the little white ones be. I also don’t like to strain it too much because I like the pulp.