Luck & Melons

How lucky am I? I got to spend a delightful evening with Bea & P having dinner in Seattle. We were supposed to go to my new obsession, Sitka & Spruce, for dinner… but ditz I am, I hadn’t realized that they weren’t open for dinner on Monday and Tuesday evenings and we arrived to a closed shop. So, we scrambled and ended up having dinner at Crow in Queen Anne, another favorite of ours.

Unfortunately, the food and service that night really didn’t live up to its usual wow-inspiringness… everything was fine, but not much more than that, with two distinct exceptions: primarily and not too surprisingly, the company was fabulous. Bea is as elegant and warm in person as she is on her blog (as is her husband). The slowness of the service was made much less impactful by the fascinating conversation and hearing about each others travels. Secondly, P’s sorbets for dessert (I love that food bloggers like to share and that our families indulge us!) were outstanding… especially the melon, which was smooth, silky and subtly sweet.

The next day, I couldn’t stop craving it… but as luck would have it I had a melon, just at the peak of ripeness and ready to be used for just such a treat.

I decided on a melon sherbet, rather than a sorbet or gelato, adding just a bit but not too much creaminess. Heidi (my food blog idol) of 101 Cookbooks has two different recipes for melon sherbet… the one in her print cookbook, Cook 1.0, calls for sweetened condensed milk while the recipe online uses whole milk and honey. I didn’t have any whole milk, but fudged it with a mixture of heavy cream and nonfat milk, and otherwise followed her recipe. For the melon, I used some variety of charentais melon, a small very delicate muskmelon that has a very light subtle flavor. I’m not sure exactly what the variety is… it was in a bin with 3 other small french muskmelons, some with the typical salmon colored flesh. My sherbet melon however had a very pale greenish-white flesh, more like of a Casaba melon and a wonderfully fragrant aroma that was hard to put down.

My sherbet ended up tasting delicious, both light and delicate as the melon itself. I wasn’t thrilled with the texture which was a bit too icy instead of the silky spoonful I was hoping for. Scooping it was a chore, as the balls wouldn’t stick into beautiful little rounds as I had hoped, but broke into granita like crumbs. But, that didn’t come close to stop Cam & I from finishing off our full bowls.


Melon Sherbet

Ingredient measurements listed are per pound of melon

1 Charentais Melon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup cream
a pinch of fine grain salt

Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds.

Over a bowl or your blender/food processor, scoop out the melon flesh. Keeping it over the bowl will ensure that you get each precious drop of juice. With the Charentais melon, you should be able to get very close to the rind if your melon is ripe enough. Add the pinch of salt, and blend slightly. Pour in the milk and cream and about 1/4 of the total honey. Blend well. Continue adding the remaining honey to taste, being careful not to over sweeten. I ended up using about 2/3 the honey for my melon. Chill the mixture for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, pour into an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

  • http://icecreamireland.com/ Kieran

    Sounds yum, and your pictures are so great!

    If you add a bit more honey and cut the sweetness with lemon, you’d probably solve your consistency issues…

  • http://www.beaskitchen.com/blog/ bea at La tartine gourmande

    I think that I am the one who feels lucky! We had such a lovely evening with you and Cam! Discovering parts of a city this way makes a whole world of a difference. Many thanks again to both of you. We will just have to come back to try Sitka and Spruce together ;-) Not a bad deal, eh?

  • Pingback: Still Life With... (Food Styling and Photography) » Vintage Finds()

  • http://pinchmysalt.com Nicole

    I just saved a melon sorbet recipe last night but now I think maybe I’ll try the sherbet instead! There’s a good chance we’ll be moving to Whidbey Island in a year or two so it’s nice to hear about Seattle :-)

  • http://www.insanitytheory.net/kitchenwench Ellie

    What beautiful photography, and the melen sherbet looks fantastic! I really need to get off my butt and buy myself an ice cream maker, especially with summer just around the corner!

  • http://bakingandbooks.com Ari

    You are one lucky person! And I must say, your photo is fantastic, just looking at it made me feel “cool.”

    Must make melon sherbert.

  • http://www.cookandeat.com/ L

    Thanks for the tip Kieran! I’ll give it a try, although probably with a stronger flavored melon as the taste of this one was so subtle I think that the lemon and extra honey would overpower it. Also, I was using Tupelo honey, which is fairly potent itself.

    Bea – You are more than welcome, and can’t wait to hit S&S with you on your return!

    Nicole- Whidbey is a great place! So much good produce there, and some really fantastic restaurants (like the Inn at Langley… one of my favorites!)

    Ellie – Thanks! I know it’s one of my favorite gadgets! (after, of course, my Kitchen Aid mixer and all my coffee gear)

    Ari – Yes, I think I am :-) Thanks!

  • http://noemiecuisine.canalblog.com/ no?ɬ©mie

    mmmh the softness of the photo just makes me dream. The sherbet seems so smooth and perfect. I’d love to go to Seattle!! I’ll have to work hard this year to got my GMAT and my master…maybe that I’ll have the chance to move to the Seattle University then! Ok, i’m gonna work hard just to eat a piece of your delights and to meet nice bloggers!

  • http://www.tastinglife-julia.blogspot.com julia

    how nice that you all know each other (!)
    sounds truly as a wonderful evening =)
    the sherbet looks very succeed, deliciously soft and refreshing! Yum!

  • http://lobstersquad.blogspot.com lobstersquad

    I love it, you?Ǭ¥re one of the few northern hemisphere bloggers not going all autumnal on me. It?Ǭ¥s still so hot here, and this is just what I want to read about. Beautiful post.

  • http://maegabriel.com/riceandnoodles Mae

    Another stunning photographs and recipe, Lara. I so envy you all meeting up.., first with Matt now with Bea!

  • http://gilly.ca gilly

    Sounds like you both had a wonderful time! It’s getting cool up here in the north, but despite that, your melon sorbet still looks very refreshing and delicious! Beautiful pictures, as always…

  • http://www.deliciousdays.com Nicky

    I love the “white on white” pictures. So gorgeous!