I’m feeling a little sad that summer is coming to an end. The days of summer dresses and sandals are nearly over and the nights are starting to draw in. I’ve been thinking about preserving summer flavours and ways to stretch the season out a little further. I’ve been remembering childhood summers spent in Menorca, where my parents met and lived before I was born, its close to our hearts. We would go back every year to visit old friends. One of these friends had a speedboat and I remember vividly sitting at the cafe in the harbour waiting impatiently to catch the boat to the beach. We would eat helados in the cafe to pass the time. One of my favourites was a watermelon sorbet shaped like a watermelon slice with chocolate pieces for pips. Amazing. Then I found a miniature Italian watermelon and decided to have a go at a more grown up version and add some chilli. Watermelon and chilli are an amazing flavour combination- delicate and refreshing followed by a warm fiery kick. This recipe is full of sunshine to eek out the last remaining summer days.
To make watermelon sorbet you will need:
- 250g water
- 125g sugar
- 600g watermelon flesh-trimmed weight
- 1 egg white
Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and is thick and syrupy- this takes around 15-20 minutes. Set the sugar syrup aside to cool. Trim the skin off the watermelon and blitz to a pulp. Strain the pulp through a fine sieve to get rid of the pips and add the cooled stock syrup to the strained watermelon juice.
If using an ice cream maker, churn the liquid until semi frozen then whisk the egg white to a soft peak and add to the churning mixture. Once completely frozen transfer the mixture into a tupperwhere container and freeze until ready to use.
If using a Tupperware container place the liquid mixture into the freezer for an hour until semi frozen,whisk the egg white to a soft peak and fold into the mixture and freeze for a further hour or so until the sorbet is firm.
To make chilli sherbet you will need:
- 7g citric acid-available from the chemist
- 2.5g bicarbonate of soda
- 16g icing sugar
- 1-3g hot cayenne pepper
Add all the ingredients except the cayenne pepper to a pestle and mortar and grind all together to make a sherbet base. Add cayenne pepper to taste and stir all together- the cayenne pepper will intensify in flavour and colour so proceed with caution. Stored in a dry airtight container the sherbet should last for a week or so.
Remove the sorbet from the freezer around 15 to 20 minutes before you wish to serve, pour boiling water into a measuring jug and allow the ice cream scoop to stand in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Add scoops of the mixture into small bowls using the warmed ice cream scoop.
Top the sorbet with a sprinkling of chilli sorbet-nasturtium flowers and leaves optional. This is best enjoyed eyes closed imagining you are somewhere warmer, next to the sea and just about to catch a boat to the beach.
how are you spending the last days of Summer?