Is there any food which embodies all of the feelings of summer better than ice cream? Just pause to think about that. Ice cream cools you down when it’s hot outside, it is oftentimes made from the freshest fruits of the season, and it puts a smile on everyone’s face. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating ice cream all year long, but especially in the summertime.
My husband and I found ourselves in a very hot situation earlier this summer. We use our summer travels as a means to escape the hazy, hot, and humid conditions of Baltimore. However, upon landing in France in late June, it appeared that we brought the heat along with us. Oppressive heat - well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit - was our experience for ten days in southern France. Thankfully, it was a dry heat, more like being in the desert, than being back at home…but it was hot! There were days when I felt that there wasn’t enough water to quench my thirst and days when we didn’t have much appetite at all, all due to the constant beating down of the strong sunshine. Despite being in surrounded by some of the best food and wine in the world, I felt too hot to enjoy food. There were days when all I wanted to eat were bowls of ice cream and sorbet.
Speaking of such a day, when my appetite was absent for anything but a cold treat…that was the day that we managed to be in a small Provençal town that didn’t have an abundance of ice cream shops! Every other village/town/city that we visited was full of gelato shops and ice cream stands, sometimes they were next door to each other. How to choose which one to order from? Who has the best ice cream in this type of situation? The shortest line would give quicker satisfaction, but maybe the longer line was due to a superior product!
So we found ourselves in a small hill town with beautiful views and winding cobblestone paths. The temperature was hovering at 45 degrees Celcius (that’s a mere 113 degrees Fahrenheit). I was parched, but water was no longer quenching my thirst. All I wanted was a big bowl of sorbet, possibly a citrus flavor or a berry flavor, but something ice cold and not overly sweet. We wandered for what felt like hours, it was probably more like 30 minutes, until we found a small grocery store that had a small selection of ice creams and sorbets available by the scoop. I ordered one scoop of cassis and one scoop of melon (the local melons in Provence were delicious). I enjoyed that small bowl of sorbet immensely and knew that I’d want to eat a melon sorbet again.
Back home in Baltimore, I’ve been determined to recreate that melon sorbet. I’ve searched online for recipes and tips, as I didn’t feel confident that I’d be able to wing-it by my own senses. After some contemplation, I made a cantaloupe sorbet recipe from David Leibovitz’s book “The Perfect Scoop”. It’s easy and foolproof, it tastes just like the melon sorbet that I ate in Provence. So I’m sharing this recipe with you today, I’ve made it a few times over the past weeks and it continues to be delicious and refreshing on these hot summer days.
What’s your favorite ice cream or sorbet flavor? Do your taste preferences change as the seasons change? Tell me, I’m curious! Stay cool this weekend, it looks like it’s going to be a hot!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
One 2-pound (1 kg) ripe cantaloupe
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons dry or sweet white wine or Champagne (optional)
Peel the rind from the melon, removing any traces of green. Split the melon in half and scape out the seeds.
Cut the melon into 1-inch (3-cm) pieces. Purée in a blender with the sugar, salt, and lime juice until smooth. Taste, and add additional lime juice if desired and the wine, if using.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Yield: about 2 cups (500 mL)