Recipes

melon d’eau Ice Cream

June 11, 2017

Well well well, you’ve decided to return have you? You are in for a real treat today then! Today I turned one of my very favorite foods into ice cream: watermelon! Others may disagree, but I think watermelon is the most refreshing and iconic treat. Let’s dive into the deep end of this watermelon pool (think about that for a second; a pool filled with watermelon!)

Introduction

So anybody who has hung around with me in the summer knows I am just about obsessed with watermelon. I think I ate close to 12 watermelons over the course of last summer. My makeup bag has watermelons on it. This passion runs deep. But in keeping with my usual Alanna oddness, I don’t like the inside watermelon. Nope, it must have some of the white rind on it to make it crunchy. In the same way, I like white-ish strawberries and green bananas. I know, odd right?

Watermelon in frozen form is most often made as a granita or sorbet. But I didn’t want an icy watermelon creation. I wanted something creamy and watermelon-y. So it took a while before I found the perfect recipe that had all of the requirements.

Theory

It’s no surprise that watermelon is mostly made up of…water. 92% of watermelon is just water. So I knew this would end up being an icy type ice cream no matter how I sliced it. My idea was to add a little bit of alcohol to keep it from turning into a delicious ice-cube. But more on that later.

And because its been a while, let’s review the differences between a sorbet, sherbet and ice cream shall we?

A sorbet contains no dairy, and is usually fruit based. A sherbet contains dairy and is usually fruit based. It’s kinda the middle ground between a sorbet and dairy. And finally, an ice cream is dairy based and must contain at least 10% milkfat.

I truly wish I had lab equipment at home to tell you the exact milkfat percentage of this concoction. But alas, there is just not money in the blog budget for that kind of testing machinery. Maybe one day… I will definitely have it in my ice cream shop, because I like to be as exact as possible. Unfortunately, for the time being, I don’t know what to call this. I consider it an ice cream, but not a custard. Come back to this page in about 15 years and hopefully I will have an answer for you.

Experimental Apparatus and Procedure

To start this ice cream, I had to chop up a watermelon. This is basically a normal activity for me. I have a pattern. In half, then into quarters, then slice each quarter into 1 inch slices and chop each slice. But in this case, I got to donate the inner pieces to the ice cream cause, and keep the white outsides all for myself.

Then I pureed them. And speaking of pureeing, welcome a new piece of equipment to my traveling ice cream brigade; a blender! I finally caved and realized I would need to purchase a blender sooner or later, so I bit the bullet. This one looks pretty awesome, because it’s a blender, food processor and single-serving smoothie maker all in one. It worked wonders, but it really scared poor Winston.

Then I strained the pulpy insides out of the puree and whisked in the milk and cream. Perk of this ice cream, no heat and no chill time! It was an all in one shot. Next it went straight into the churner. But I have become inept at pouring somehow lately and it went everywhere. The floor was a sticky mess. It took me the entire churning time to clean it up.

Oh! Remember about the alcohol I mentioned? Yes I planned to add it, and I even bought it. A teeny tiny bottle of vodka. But when I got home from the store, I couldn’t find it! I thought I dropped it in the parking lot and someone picked it up.  So it didn’t find its way into my ice cream. It wasn’t until the next day as I got to work that I realized it was sitting in my passenger seat the whole time! Typical.

When I pinted it, I made one pure watermelon pint and I mixed in some basil leaves to the other. I see lots of recipes that combine these two summery staples and I thought I’d give it a try.

I tried a little spoonful before I stuck it in the freezer, and I was wowed. Dang that was like a refreshing dive in the lake.

Results

I don’t think I can say enough good things about this flavor. Oh and before I go any further, melon d’eau  is French for watermelon. I honestly could not think of a cutesy name for this, so Google translate became my friend. And I think it sounds a little like a perfume, which is pretty neat.

The taste and color are spot on. Just simply a creamy watermelon. Nothing too fancy, just refreshing. Do you remember in the Princess Diaries how they have ice cream between courses to cleanse their palettes? I think this would be the perfect use for this flavor. A palette cleanser. But it could stand on its own too! Don’t doubt that!

I can picture it going perfectly with a scoop of flecked vanilla bean in a freshly baked waffle cone? Drooling yet? Yeah me too.

The basil addition to this flavor could be completely hit or miss. I wish I could muddle the basil leaves in a mortar and pestle to try to tame the flavor a little but. I personally find the basil addition to be a little overpowering to the watermelon. But not awful by any means. I’ve made weirder combinations. Jalapeno cornbread ice cream anyone?

Discussion

Work is just fun. I can honestly say I am always on my toes there. The other day, I got completed covered in corn syrup and was sticky for hours. The next day, I got squirted with raw cream. But even still, its awesome. I even use terms like “usage rate” and “load-out” casually now, like I know what I’m talking about. I can hardly believe I am going into my fourth week!

Fun fact time. I went on a little independent adventure yesterday and explored! I went to see Lake Michigan on the way drove though farms and cows, just like I imagined Wisconsin to be like! And I found a little beach, where I met some sweet doggies.

Lake Michigan is honestly breathtaking. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve sworn I was back at my Jersey shore. The waves quickly lulled me to sleep, just as they have done for 21 years. Ask my mom, I was on the beach within a few months of me being alive.

Then I took myself to dinner. A lot of people are very leery of going out to dinner by themselves and saying “table for one”. But its part of being independent. And it’s actually kind of fun. You just have to accept and lean into the discomfort of it. Don’t stare at your phone. Own it. Comment below if you’ve ever done this, or you want to. I’m looking at you Tara.

There is something so freeing about being by yourself. Not to say I don’t have friends out here, but I don’t mind being by myself either. Okay, enough blathering about being an independent woman. Here are some pictures of the lake.

I’ve got a fun flavor cooking up in my head for next week, so mark your calendars to check back in. Thanks for visiting and scoop ya later!

  1. Very cool Alanna. Watermelon would be a delicious flavor! I liked the photos as always- the lake, the cat and of course the details of the process to make this weeks treat!
    PS good for you to travel and see the sights there in Wisconsin and have the courage to explore too.

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