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Aug 3, 2008 03:01 PM

Watermelon Sorbet

I have a whole bowl of watermelon leftover from dicing the rind for pickled watermelon rind. I would make sorbet but each time I do it turns solid as a rock. Any suggestions for how to improve the texture? I was thinking instead of a sugar syrup using just plain sugar with the pureed watermelon and lot of lime to offset the sweetness. TIA.

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  1. Most of the recipes I've seen have a sugar syrup, so that might help. Lots of recipes also recommend a small amount of alcohol (vodka or liqueur). Alcohol doesn't freeze so that would keep the texture softer.

    1. The basic sorbet recipe I use calls for the sugar to be mixed with a small amount (half a cup or so) of the fruit puree and then heated just until the sugar dissolves. In addition to some lime, I'd add some salt.

      1. This recipe is in the August issue of Gourmet. It looks fantastic, and calls for a little tequila in the Watermelon sorbet to help keep the texture right.

        9 Replies
        1. re: ExercisetoEat

          Tequila sounds like a delicious idea. I use a tablespoon or two of limoncello, Grand Marnier or cassis in fruit sorbets (or vodka if I don't want the added flavor).

          What kind of ice cream maker are you using AGM Cape Cod?

          1. re: Junie D

            I have a Simac Gelataio. I had one that I got for my wedding shower for 20 years and when it quit my MIL handed me a check for another one the minute she heard. My husband remembers her eating her rice crispies with vanilla ice cream for breakfast in the summer. I really like the machine.

            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

              I tried earlier to add that I met an artisan sorbet maker this weekend who uses a small amount of fruit pectin in some of this sorbet flavors that tend to be icy. He explained that it's all about the "hydration solids" and suggested using a refractometer to determine the brix of your mixture and how much of what to add to get the desired texture. If you really like making sorbet that might be something to look into -- he said the ones that are ~$30 are fine.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Is a 'refractometer' like a sugar densitometer? I have been making sorbets for almost 30 years and the only one that gives me this trouble is the watermelon. It has to do with the amount of water I assume.

                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                    The way the guy explained it to me is that "brix" isn't exactly sugar. It's the amount of "hydrating solids" of which sugar is one. If you measure the brix of your mixture you can determine what and how much to add to your mixture to get the exact texture you want. As I said, he uses a small amount of pectin in mixtures where the ingredients themselves don't provide adequate hydrating solids but he doesn't want it to get too sugary. You're right that watermelon is a tricky one -- the watermelon sorbet recipe I have calls for egg whites (as was suggested in another thread). But I don't really like the egg white effect. I'd be more likely to try pectin, which is a perfectly natural product.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I guess I need to do more research on sorbets. 'Brix' is a little beyond me. I agree about the egg white. Pectin does sound more reasonable. I wonder if you could use a natural apple pectin stock for a sorbet.

                1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                  "MIL handed me a check for another one the minute she heard. My husband remembers her eating her rice crispies with vanilla ice cream for breakfast in the summer"

                  Your MIL is a gem.

                  1. re: Junie D

                    Yes she was. I remember once she came to visit in the morning when I asked if she had had breakfast she said she brought her own. Milk and malted milk balls!