Melon Sorbet

Honeydew and mint, cantaloupe and lime, refreshing melon sorbets. Perfect for summer.

  • Yield: Each recipe makes approximately 1 quart.

Ingredients

Cantaloupe Sorbet

  • 5 cups of diced cantaloupe (about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup of lemon or lime juice
  • Pinch of salt

Honeydew Sorbet

  • 5 cups of diced honeydew (about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup of mint leaves, well packed
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

Method

1 To prepare the melons, cut them open and scoop out the strings and seeds and discard them. Carefully cut off the rind and discard that as well. Cut up the melon and place into a blender or food processor and purée well until smooth and soupy. Set aside in a bowl.

2 Make a simple syrup by placing the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture has come to boil. Remove from heat. Add the mint (if using) and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain out the lemon zest (and mint if using).

3 Combine the simple syrup, citrus juice, corn syrup, and salt with the puréed melon. Stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill completely in a refrigerator. (Chill for several hours or overnight.)

4 Process in an ice cream machine via the manufacturer's instructions. The sorbet will have a soft texture right out of the ice cream maker. If you would like a firmer consistency, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in a freezer for an hour or two. Once frozen, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature to soften before serving.

*Note: Muskmelon, Canary melon, or any other type of melon can be used in these recipes. Watermelons may work too, but I haven't tested it with these recipes.

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Comments

  1. Drew T

    I made a very similar sorbet the other day, and am gleeful to have an opportunity to share where our approaches varied. I purchased my cantaloupe from a farmer’s market along with other produce, most significantly a bushel of peaches to freeze. I used the freshly cut meat of 2 – 3 peaches for additional sweetness (and therefore omitted the corn syrup, and probably should have cut down the sugar). Finally, I served it with a few fresh blueberries to top and a small sprig of fresh mint for a colorful garnish. The combined flavor was still very much cantaloupe, but the fruity tang and natural sweetness of the peaches really made my “mistake of opportunity” into something I would strive to attempt again.

    I hope this lends you and your readers an excuse to experiment with flavor combinations with your future sorbet endeavors. (And, by the way, I really am no expert at sorbets, and was only goofing around to try to teach myself how to use my ice-cream maker.)

  2. Darren

    I’ve never made sorbet but after reading this I am sure that when I do make it I will be using one of these recipes. I am imagining the flavor and I want some right now.

    I am wondering though, what does the corn syrup do for the recipe? Does it enhance tongue feel? Prevent large ice crystals from forming?

    The corn syrup is an invert sugar that great helps the sorbet in keeping it from getting too icy. ~Elise

  3. Anna

    I really, really love sorbet, but never make it anymore. Everyone loves sorbets for their lack of fat virtue, but for me (and others with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes), sorbet’s high sugar content and lack of fat and protein means the sugars go straight into the bloodstream in a huge spike. A small serving of homemade low sugar ice cream (made with plenty of egg yolks) after a LC meal is far more forgiving to my BG.

    My mother always said, “life isn’t fair”. She was right. Sigh.

  4. Kristi

    These look beautiful and delicious! Definitely a must-try. One question for Garrett: I’ve been making your scrumptious peach/nectarine/blueberry fruit salad frequently this summer, opting for agave nectar instead of simple syrup. Could I do the same in this recipe? (Hope your mom is doing well, too.) Thanks!

    Kristi, I think that would be fine, but I’m not sure the measurements for that. Give it a try and if it works let us know your results! As for mom, she’s great! Getting ready for a big 100 mile bike ride in Santa Barbara. =) ~Garrett

  5. Dave

    I avoid corn syrup, and pretty much avoid sugar. How about honey? I wonder about replacing the simple syrup and corn syrup with 1/2 to 3/4 Cup honey. Any thoughts? I’d need to find another way to infuse the lemon zest. Thanks.

    From Wikipedia: Honey is a mixture (principally) of glucose and fructose, giving it similar properties to invert syrup.

    Dave, I don’t know how honey will work. The sorbet will certainly take on the flavor of the honey, which might be awesome. Give it a shot and let us all know how it works out for you. As for the lemon zest, maybe just use a bit more lemon juice instead? ~Garrett

  6. Gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com

    I made a lot of sorbets this summer, including Melon and raspberries using the same recipe. The melon sorbet was really hard when we kept it in the freezer. Unlike the raspberries sorbet. Is it because of the higher water content in melon? Would agave syrup help (instead of corn syrup?). Thanks for the answer.

    Agave syrup can be used as a replacement in some cases, but not always. I haven’t tried it. The corn syrup here isn’t the high fructose kind and its function is to help soften the sorbet. I usually use corn syrup in sorbet as it gives it a smoother consistency. ~Garrett

  7. Samantha

    Well, as I conveniently had all ingredients on hand, aside from lemon zest and including a very, very ripe cantaloupe…This is now lined up to be the maiden voyage for the ice cream maker that arrived last week! Just waiting for everything to chill so we can start, the bowl of ingredients looks like way more than the one quart bowl of my machine will hold, maybe it’ll end up being a double batch!

  8. Russell

    For those against refined sugar, would turbinado sugar work for this application, or would it effect the flavor too much?

    Also, if I were to use honey, I would want to use something that would flavor well with the melon. I’m sure your grocery store variety “clover” honey would work, but I would be willing to bet orange blossom or some other 100% fruit tree variety would be incredible.

    Another idea would be to substitute part of the melon with some English cucumber.

    I would stick to the recipe as listed to be honest as anything else will change the flavor. Turbinado has a deeper flavor that might eclipse the melon a bit. I like the cucumber idea, though. ~Garrett

  9. Mike

    Could I use Splenda in place of the sugar in this recipe?

    I don’t know. I never use it. Try making it yourself that way, if it works I hope you’ll leave a comment detailing your results. ~Garrett

  10. Becky

    Made this yesterday, the freshest most wonderful homemade dessert ever! I knew it would harden in the freezer, and my kids just adore italian ice, so I put out our fresh servings then spooned 3oz of the sorbet into 4oz kids cups and froze them. The kids really enjoyed their ‘italian ice’ for dessert yesterday!

  11. Mike

    Update from 8/30

    I made the cantaloupe version, following the recipe to the letter, it was delicious. Next, I decided to make a watermelon/lemon version using Splenda instead of sugar. The flavor was great but there was definitely a difference in texture. The Splenda version was much icier, completely missing was the smoothness of the first batch. Although neither lasted long, the texture of the sugar version was far superior to that of the Splenda version.

    Thanks for your testing and notes, Mike! ~Garrett