Thursday, September 15, 2005

The ice cream project: watermelon sour cream sherbet

This yellow watermelon was delicious and pretty, but as I mentioned yesterday, I couldn't stand the seeds. As for the sour cream, last week I was eating a tortilla espaƱola and tried some sour cream on it, figuring that a tortilla espaƱola is basically a potato latke with egg in it and a latke tastes great with sour cream. (This was a good intuition: sour cream is tasty on a tortilla.) There was still a bit of sour cream on my plate when I started eating watermelon for "dessert" and I tried some experimental dipping. Thus my observation that watermelon and sour cream make a really good combination. (Then I tried the melon with red chile flakes and observed that that is a really bad combination.)

So today I threw the rest of the melon--which was dirt cheap, by the way, $1--into the food processor and let 'er rip. When it was a smooth puree, I added a pinch of salt, a few spoonfuls of sour cream, and a few shakes of powdered sugar. I let 'er rip again, tasted, added more sour cream and sugar, whizzed, tasted, added, whizzed, tasted, added, and so on. One secret when making ice creams and the like is to keep adding sugar until they taste too sweet. When they're frozen your taste buds don't pick up the sweetness as easily.

Then I strained the mix through a clean strainer, one with medium-small holes. This wasn't good enough; there were still little brown particles of watermelon seeds in my mixtture. So I got the fine-mesh strainer out of the dishwasher and washed it by hand, and then strained through it. This did the trick.

I chilled, poured, churned, and hardened in the freezer. After dinner tonight we ate it.

I'm calling this a sherbet even though it's not made with milk or buttermilk because its texture is closer to ices than to ice cream. The sour cream does give it a bit of richness and a delicate background flavor note of tart dairy. But like a sorbet, its essence is the fruit. It tastes like watermelon seen from a new, intriguing point of view. This one's a winner and I like it a lot a lot.


Blogger zoe p. said...

Your watermelon experiments sound great. I've been working on papaya and lemon combinations this week . . . no milky additives in this one.

As for F&G, my favorite minor character is Harris. Wise, kind Harris. As he says, deadpan, stark naked, "Auf Wiedersehen."

2:34 PM  

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