Pureed and frozen cantaloupe has a remarkably creamy texture. Remarkably creamy. You'll need to add a bit of sugar, both to sweeten the fruit (frozen things taste less sweet than they would at room temperature) and to make the texture sorbet-like instead of ice cube-like, but the real point of this recipe is to bring out as much of the natural cantaloupe flavor as possible. No cantaloupe? No problem! Use any melon you like, although less-sweet melons may require more sugar syrup than do most cantaloupes.
Have watermelon? Check out this Watermelon Granita instead.
- 1 large very ripe cantaloupe or Crenshaw melon (about 4 pounds melon)
- 1 cup sugar
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- While the sugar syrup cools, peel, seed, and cut the melon into cubes: Cut off the ends of the melon and set it upright (one of the cut sides down) on a cutting board, cut off the peel by cutting down along the sides, cut the melon in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and cut the melon into cubes.
- Transfer the melon in a blender or a food processor and whirl until completely and utterly smooth and pureed. You will likely need to do this in batches, be sure to thoroughly purée each batch. Transfer each batch to a large bowl.
- Add about half of the sugar syrup to the pureed melon. Taste. It should be a bit sweeter than you want the final sorbet to taste, since cold things taste less sweet than warm or room temperature things (it's true!). Add more sugar syrup, about a tablespoon at a time, to taste, until it's a bit sweeter than you want the final sorbet to taste.
- Cover and chill the mixture for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Chilling the mixture before freezing it will help ensure the final sorbet has as creamy a texture as possible, so don't skip this step if you can avoid it.
- Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. No ice cream maker? No worries. Pour the chilled mixture into a metal baking pan and freeze, stirring every 30 to 60 minutes, until it's frozen through. Be sure to scrape the icy bits from the sides of the pan into the center. How long this will take will depend on your freezer.