My babysitter left us an enormous watermelon in our refrigerator the other day. Huge. Even with my four watermelon-loving children, there is no way that we can eat all of that in a timely fashion. Our sitter also expressed a slight concern that this watermelon wasn’t as sweet as she likes it – perhaps it wasn’t ripe enough. I assured her that we could experiment a little bit and make good use of this monster fruit.
As I was cutting up the watermelon into large chunks to fend off my hot and hungry children, I immediately thought that watermelon ice cream would probably be really refreshing. I handed the kiddos a big bowl of watermelon and immediately set about trying to make some ice cream. Unfortunately, I took a quick glance in the fridge and realized that I had no eggs. No eggs, no ice cream. Although I haven’t made sherbet yet, I had heard that making sherbet is just like making ice cream except that you don’t use eggs. And so the experiment began…
|About 4 cups of watermelon chunks|
3 to 4 cups of watermelon chunks
1 pint half and half (I had Organic Valley half and half in the fridge)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
|Q straining the watermelon puree|
Using about 1 to 2 cups at a time, puree the watermelon chunks in your blender for about 15 seconds until there is beautiful pink watermelon juice. Strain the juice through a sieve. It took less than 4 cups of watermelon chunks to get about 2 cups of strained watermelon juice.
Combine the half and half, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan. Heat it gently over medium heat. Almost bring it to a boil, remove from heat, and gradually add the watermelon juice.
Put the saucepan back over medium heat. Bring it almost to a boil, stir well, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Let the mixture chill for a few hours – we let it chill overnight – and then put it into your favorite ice cream maker. I always like to let the freshly churned ice cream set in the freezer for a bit before I serve it. For this project, we used our LL Bean ice cream ball as well as our simple electric Cuisinart ice cream maker. The results from both were delicious!
A sherbet is a little less creamy than an ice cream although I didn’t find it too “icy” or hard to scoop. In fact, making an egg-less custard was so easy that I felt like I was doing something wrong. The kids could not believe how much this actually tasted like watermelon!! The perfect treat for these hot, hot days.