When it’s hot outside and you want to cool down without making too much fuss, there’s nothing quite like ice cream. Unfortunately most store bought ice cream is filled with additives that many of us deem undesirable. On the other hand, if you try to go the homemade route you’ll quickly discover that most recipes require an ice cream maker, which many of us don’t have; plus they call for generous amounts of sugar. Today’s cantaloupe sorbet recipe allows you to sidestep chemical additives, ice cream makers, and excessive sweetness and still arrive at cool, tasty happiness. In addition to being delicious, cantaloupe sorbet is beautifully simple. This all means that a healthy-ish dessert can be on your table with less effort than it takes to decipher the ingredient label on a pint of store-bought ice cream.
This cantaloupe sorbet is on the opposite end of ice cream and its numerous iterations in many ways: it’s refreshingly cool due to the watery quality of the cantaloupe, as opposed to potentially cloyingly-rich. Stabilizers and emulsifiers are put in commercial ice cream to give it that creamy, almost stiff, mouth feel. Good homemade custard-type ice cream relies on eggs, cream, milk, and lots of sugar to get that wonderful, distinctively silky texture; while many vegan ice creams get their particular creamy texture from bananas and nuts. Since cantaloupe is largely water, at its heart this dessert is mostly an icy-affair, well placed during the summer heat. Regardless of how hot it is—or how hot your body feels—I don’t recommend letting cantaloupe sorbet linger in the freezer. This is, like so many things, largely a matter of taste, but I like this sorbet when it’s not icy-cold. After just an hour in the freezer, the light creaminess of the yogurt in this recipe is able to shine. Also, if the sorbet is too cold, its subtle flavor is lost.
Choose Your Cantaloupe
Cantaloupes love the heat, so they’re widely available in the summer, but taking the time to ensure you find a sweet one is worth it for this recipe. The flavor of this sorbet—soft, liquidy fresh—relies largely on the natural sweetness of cantaloupe. Look for one that’s fragrant, but not overly so. You’ll be able to tell if a cantaloupe is beyond its prime if it smells over-the-top musky. Also, a good cantaloupe will feel heavy for its size and the stem end should give a little when pressed.
Cantaloupe Sorbet For Everyone
Adults and kids seem to love this sorbet so don’t hesitate to serve it to everyone. It’s of course lovely after a meal, but it’s also great on those very hot days when dinner is out of the question. Whether or not you have it with a glass of wine is totally up to you. Either way, cantaloupe sorbet makes summer a lot cooler.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 2-3 hours
Total Time: 2-3 hours, 10 minutes
- 1 ripe cantaloupe
- 3/4 cup plain whole yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons raw sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- pinch of sea or pink Himalayan salt
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
- Cut the cantaloupe into small chunks, discarding the rind, and freeze them for 2-3 hours.
- Place the frozen cantaloupe, yogurt, sugar, chili powder, salt, and lemon or lime juice in a food processor and process until smooth, being careful not to over blend.
- Transfer to a shallow dish and freeze for 1 hour.
Additional Cooking Notes
- Using a melon baller to cut the cantaloupe is great if you have the time. Smaller chunks of cantaloupe are easier on food processors and good for the texture of your sorbet too.
- Over-blending in the food processor will make the sorbet watery.
- Mixing the sorbet from time to time when it’s in the freezer will give it a more consistent texture.
Photos by Shiraz Leyva