Popsicles can’t compete with watermelon/cucumber/mint granita


Long ago and far away in the land known as “when the girls were little,” our kitchen table became the production area for some pretty interesting concoctions. This usually happened when we were in some sort of extended food preparation, such as freezing strawberry jam in large batches.

Here’s how I remember it…no doubt their version is different. To keep them occupied, I gave them blended berries and let them create away. They added salt, sugar, artificial sweetener, food coloring, and I’d rather not know what else. What I remember is that the final color was what they finally identified as “puce”. Fortunately, they didn’t expect anyone except their dolls and stuffed animals to participate in a taste test.

In the intervening years, the two of them have developed their own cooking skills and tastes. Once in awhile, they take over our kitchen while visiting.

So I wasn’t surprised the other day when I came home and discovered that part of a huge watermelon had disappeared from the fridge. Initially, I thought maybe the two of them had engaged in a backyard game of spitting seeds. But no….such was not the case.

Feeling sorry for her sister, who had cut the inside of her mouth in a car accident, daughter number 1 decided to concoct something cold, sort of an adult version of a popsicle.

What did she come up with? Watermelon sorbet, which she described as more of a granita or shaved ice, because it was “chippy” rather than smooth like a sorbet. Check out her photo, followed by the recipe.

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Spearmint Granita/Sorbet
3 cups water

1 cup sugar
Large bunch of fresh mint
3 cups seedless watermelon chunks
1 cut peeled and seedless cucumber chunks
Stir the sugar and water together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring a few times, just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and steep 3 stems of mint. Leave to cool and then remove the mint stems.

Process the watermelon and cucumber chunks, 1/4 cup mint leaves, and the mint sugar syrup in a blender or food processor. It may be necessary to do this in smaller batches rather than all at once.

Strain the blended mix through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a bowl. Press/squeeze out as much pulp as possible. Discard the leftover pulp. Chill for a few hours in a glass or metal 9″ pan. Stir the icy mixture every hour until all is frozen – it will be chippy.
*I don’t know if an ice-cream maker would produce a smoother result, but it couldn’t hurt to try. 

Other potential flavors:
Cantaloupe and mint
Cantaloupe and basil
Citrus
Lemon verbena and orange
Herbal (mints, lemon balm, etc.)
Mint (spearmint, peppermint, etc.)
Apple and maple syrup
Berry

Recipe from: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Food/Stir-It-Up/2012/0803/Watermelon-cucumber-and-mint-sorbet

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