from one generation to the next
I was just getting into the stride of using my ice cream churn last summer when Melbourne’s weather turned foul. I have no such excuses in Brisbane, it’s been serious gelato weather since we arrived. The over whelming success of my experimentation with dairy free chocolate sorbet made according to Australia’s Sicilian gelato guru Nick Palumbo of Gelato Messina fame earlier this year led me straight back to his book for something fruity. I chose the rockmelon sorbet.
Gelato Messina is a geeky sort of recipe book. At first glance it looks a bit intimidating, listing sugar percentages, exact temperatures and times plus the ingredient lists includes various simplified sugars that are not everyday kitchen ingredients. I assure you though, they’re worth an online purchase, you will make super smooth gelato as reward for effort.
When I made the chocolate sorbet recipe last year, I weighed every ingredient to the gram, watched the sugar thermometer like a hawk and set the kitchen timer to announce each step. I was feeling intimidated. This time I was more relaxed, although not brave enough to alter the ingredients.
Once again the result was outstanding. The flavour of my rockmelon sorbet was fresh and fruity, but not too sweet, the texture smooth and creamy.
Before you start, put the bowl and paddle from your ice cream churn and a metal container into the freezer.
Rockmelon is also known as canteloupe and netted melon.
600g rockmelon puree, about 1/2 peeled and deseeded
155g castor sugar
40g dextrose (glucose powder)
5g xantham gum
Peel a deseed half a rockmelon. weigh 600g of rockmelon chunks then puree the fruit until smooth. Set aside 400g puree in the fridge.
Whisk together the powders, the sugar, dextrose and xantham gum in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the water and 200g of melon puree in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water and warm to 40C degrees.
Whisk in the dry ingredients into the warm liquid, and continue whisking until the mixture reaches 65C, another 2-3 minutes
Set the bowl of warmed ingredients over an ice bath and continue whisking until the temperature drops back to 40C degrees, again just a few minutes.
Place the mixture in the freezer and allow the temperature to drop to 4C degrees. The time will depend on your freezer but mine took about 50 minutes. Whisk the mixture every 10 minutes to prevent ice crystals forming on the bowl.
Whisk the remaining 400 mls of rockmelon puree into the sorbet base, then chill the mixture in the fridge for 4 hours to cure.
Pour the rockmelon sorbet into your ice cream machine and churn until the mixture is -4C degrees.
Pour the mixture into a chilled stainless steel container and freeze to -15C degrees, 3-4 hours.
The sorbet is now ready to serve.