Watermelon Sorbetto

Watermelon Sorbetto

With the coming of summer, I’ve been tempted by all the various melons at the farmer’s market. It’s hard for me to resist those juicy orbs.

Unfortunately, I have the distinct tendency to bring a newly purchased melon home, put it in the refrigerator, and then promptly forget to eat it. Normally, discovering that I had some form of melon that I didn’t know I had (well, not too long after I bought it), isn’t a bad thing but I still have to figure out what to do with it.

I usually intend to chop it up and take it with me to work for breakfast. My problem is that at night, I’ll tell myself I’ll cut it up in the morning. And in the morning, I don’t feel like cutting it up in my half-awake state and that I’ll cut it up that night for the next day. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseum, and I wind up with the forgotten melon.

I finally had enough of the watermelon accusingly staring me in the face every time I opened the refrigerator and decided to do something about it. Hence, watermelon sorbetto.

This isn’t actually the first time I made a watermelon sorbet. I tried one sometime last year (I don’t remember what recipe I used) but I don’t remember being impressed by it. I think it might have been a texture issue. I find that texture is very important in frozen desserts so I made sure to strain the watermelon purée which made for a very smooth sorbet.

The sorbet ended up tasting more like watermelon than eating the watermelon straight did (which was good as I realized the watermelon was much closer to tasteless than I like). The mini-chocolate chips add a nice contrast to the sorbet as well as looking like seeds. Be aware that the sorbet freezes very hard and needs to be allowed to soften for several minutes before eating (or you may break your spoon).


Watermelon Sorbetto
Adapted from Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

3 lbs. watermelon, seeded and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp vodka
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips

  1. Purée the watermelon in a food processor or blender. Run the watermelon purée through a fine mesh strainer. Measure out 3 cups of watermelon juice.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat approximately 1/2 cup of the watermelon juice along with the sugar and salt until the sugar has thoroughly dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  3. Combine the watermelon juice in the saucepan with the other watermelon juice and place in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the lime juice and vodka.
  4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  5. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the last minute of freezing, pour in the chocolate chips.
  6. Remove from the ice cream maker’s bowl and place in a container. Place the container in the freezer to finish freezing.
  7. Several minutes before eating, remove from the freezer.

Makes about 1 quart


4 Responses to “Watermelon Sorbetto”

  1. 1 Tess August 5, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I’ve been playing with agar-agar, and was thinking more of the color than the taste, but it was a nice surprise when I used watermelon juice for “watermelon jewels.” They tasted more like watermelon than watermelon! Interesting to see you had a similar experience. By the way, if the idea interests you, I’m sure you could easily use regular gelatin.

  2. 2 Mike of Mike's Table August 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    This looks great! I tried the same recipe from David’s book and loved it…if only watermelons were in season for longer!

  3. 3 Nate August 7, 2008 at 12:02 pm


    Have you tried blending mint with the watermelon?

  4. 4 Matt August 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Tess – I’ve never tried to make anything like “watermelon jewels.” It’s an interesting idea for sure but probably not my style. I do enjoy watermelon however.

    Mike – We have a decently long season here in southern California for watermelon (well, for everything really). I’ve been very impressed by all of David Lebovitz’s cookbooks. When I want to make something sweet, I usually reach for them first.

    Nate – I’ve never tried mint with watermelon. I’m making the assumption you’re saying that’d be a good flavor combination. I have some mint oil so I may try that next time.

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