This watermelon sorbet is made with fresh watermelon, lemon juice, and mint, and is churned in an ice cream machine for a light and refreshing summer treat.
Do you love watermelon?
I confess that I'm one of those people who can easily polish off half a watermelon in one evening.
It's my favorite summer fruit.
In fact, I love it so much that watermelon recipes often feel pointless to me. I see them and I think, "Okay, but watermelon by itself is perfection. Why mess with perfection?"
A few weeks ago, however, I saw a recipe for a frozen watermelon daiquiri, and the thought of an icy cold watermelon drink sounded so completely refreshing.
I wanted it.
And so, when I found myself happily staring at multiple watermelons in my kitchen, I had an idea. I needed a watermelon frozen treat.
Clearly, I needed watermelon sorbet.
This watermelon sorbet is made with fresh watermelon, mint, lemon juice, sugar and honey, and is churned in an ice cream maker until it's light and fluffy.
This dessert is inspired by a sorbet recipe in my favorite ice cream book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home.
Is This a Good Way to Use a Flavorless Watermelon?
Before you start making this sorbet, taste your melon.
If it tastes like water, I'm sorry for your loss.
Do not use flavorless watermelon for this sorbet, because your sorbet will taste like sugar water.
How Much Watermelon Do I Need for Sorbet?
About half of a small watermelon.
If your watermelon is one of those extra-tiny ones, you might need the whole thing.
Cut the watermelon into one-inch cubes, and measure out four cups of the cubes into a blender.
You should have about three cups of blended watermelon.
If you have less, add more until you have three cups. If you have more, you can drink it (it's watermelon juice!).
How to Make the Honey + Mint Syrup
Add sugar, honey, fresh lemon (or lime) juice, and fresh mint to a small pot.
Heat until the liquid comes to a simmer, and then set it aside (off-heat) for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, strain out the mint and add the syrup to the blended watermelon. Blend again briefly to mix the syrup and watermelon.
Can I Skip the Sweetener?
Sugar lowers the freezing point of liquid, and makes the sorbet scoopable.
If you're vegan and don't want to use honey, you can substitute agave syrup.
Do I Really Need an Ice Cream Maker?
This is a traditionally prepared sorbet, and does require an ice cream maker.
If you don't have one, you could follow the directions to this point, and then use the granita technique described in this berry granita recipe to make watermelon granita.
Shopping for an ice cream maker?
How to Churn Watermelon Sorbet
Chill your watermelon mixture until it's cold to the touch, and then pour it into your ice cream maker.
Churn the mixture until it starts to look like a slushy (or Italian ice). At this point, it will struggle to churn because it's getting icy.
Freezing Watermelon Sorbet
At this point, the sorbet will be slushy-like. You could eat it now, but it's not scoopable.
Scoop the watermelon sorbet into a container to freeze.
Once your sorbet is hardened, scoop it into bowls and enjoy!
If you're feeling extra watermelon love, serve it with a couple wedges of fresh melon!
- ½ small watermelon (4 cups of 1" watermelon cubes) Use a sweet, flavorful watermelon
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 lemons or limes, juiced
- 1 cup fresh mint
- Before beginning, make sure your ice cream maker freezer bowl is frozen (if needed).Dice watermelon into 1" cubes. Add 4 cups of the cubes to a blender basin, and blend. You need 3 cups total of blended watermelon. If you have less than 3 cups, add more watermelon until you have enough.Tip: Your blender basin will likely have cup measurements on the side.
- In a small pot, add sugar, honey, lemon juice, and mint.Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and set aside for 15 minutes.After 15 minutes, strain the mint out of the syrup and add the syrup to the watermelon. Blend briefly to incorporate the syrup.
- Chill watermelon mixture in the fridge until it's cold to the touch (about an hour).Pour mixture into an ice cream machine, and spin until the mixture struggles to churn and looks like a frozen slushy (or Italian ice).
- Scrape the sorbet into a container. Seal with a lid (or plastic wrap or foil) and freeze for 2-3 hours or until hardened.Tip: Ice cream will harden more quickly in a shallow container.Keep frozen, and use within 2 months.