As you may have noticed, I’ve been making a lot of ice cream and chilled drinks lately, and not too much of what I’d call “real food.” That’s because the last thing I want to do right now is stand over a hot stove (or worse, turn on the oven). The weather is so hot that I’m feeling rather well cooked as it is.
Indeed, (wo)man cannot survive on ice cream and watermelon alone, but we’ll worry about that another day, because this melon lemon-geranium sorbet is wonderfully light and refreshing.
There are actually several plants in the pelargonium family known as lemon-scented geraniums. I’m not entirely sure which one I have growing on my patio (I’m guessing pelargonium citronellum), but these plants are common as hedges, since they smell quite nice, and they’re also quite commonly used in teas or to flavor desserts around here — imagine pastries doused in a lemon-geranium infused simple syrup. This syrup added a lemony yet decidedly un-citrusy dimension to the melon.
I’m not entirely sure what kind of melon I used, for that matter. Sliced open, they were gorgeous — orange surrounded by a pale green ring. Unfortunately, they just weren’t sweet. I had to “process” them (ok, blend them) with a good dose of sugar. Flavor-wise, these melons tasted like honeydew, but you can probably use any kind of melon you like.
For about 1 liter of ice cream:
1 kilo melon flesh (weight without seeds or peel; honeydew would be good for this)
2-3 shoots lemon geranium (mine had app 15 small leaves each)
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 cups water (to reduce with sugar and herbs)
1 cup coconut cream (or regular cream, if you’d like)
Rip apart lemon geranium, and put in a thick pot with the water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Let simmer, without the lid, until the syrup reduces somewhat (I wound up with a little under a cup. Let cool, and strain out the bits of herbs (you can save them to add as a garnish).
Meanwhile, blend the chunks of melon until smooth. Mix with the coconut and the lemon balm syrup.
Freeze in your ice cream maker for about 1/2 an hour, or in keeping with the directions. This will fill a 1.5 quart machine.
Put into the freezer to harden. I found it actually got a little too hard in the freezer after a few days, because of the high water content in the melon, and had to be thawed before being served.
Alternative: Use a small amount of fresh ginger instead of the lemon geranium.