They (the great, mysterious, all knowing They) say that when you are picking out a cantaloupe you want to smell it. If the melon gives off that distinctive sweet, floral, cantaloupe smell, it is good to go and ready to eat. A person can also choose a not yet headily scented cantaloupe to leave on their counter to continue to ripen if they don’t plan on eating it in a few days.
My dear Mr was saying to me, one day as we strolled through the grocery store, that we should check the discounted produce rack for cantaloupes, because they are at their best and most tasty right when they start looking kind of questionable.
I’m fairly sure that I responded to this statement with a raised eyebrow, a little confused by his theory, but we went and checked anyway and came home with a cantaloupe that was indeed somewhat dubious looking.
It was the best cantaloupe! Teetering between ripeness and over ripe, this sweet cantaloupe was the most intensely flavored melons one I’ve come across in quite a while.
You learn something new every day, and apparently Mr knows a thing or two about cantaloupes that I don’t.
(recipe adapted slightly from The World in My Kitchen)
3/4 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup water
1 large cantaloupe
2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Set a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and water, stirring to dissolve.
- Simmer for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and let it cool completely. (For sorbets, I like to try to make my simple syrup when I put the ice cream maker in the freezer to get cold. That way I don’t have to stand around waiting for my simple syrup to cool.)
- Cut the cantaloupe in half so that you can remove it’s seeds and peel.
- Make a puree out of the cantaloupe and lemon juice.
- Combine the simple syrup and the puree.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and allow it to churn until crystallized but not crumbly.
- Transfer the sorbet into a resealable container and freeze for a few hours so that it will harden a little more.
To make this sorbet easier to scoop, pull it out of the freezer for a few minutes before serving. The best part is that the sorbet lets the flavor of the fruit shine through really truly, it doesn’t alter the amazing natural flavors too much.
Mr says: cantaloupe sorbet is very cantaloupe-y and delicious.
My suggestion to you guys (if you’re out there, I hope you are), find some time this long weekend to get a cantaloupe of questionable character. Even if you don’t have time to make it into a sorbet, it is so worth it. A cantaloupe 30% off that tastes better than the one at regular price? There’s no way to say no!
This time last year: Beet Towers with Blue Cheese Mousse
And the year before: My First Kitchen