Cool Off Sorbet!
When I was a kid, I remember buying little round ice-balls ("eis bola" in Malay) as big as my fist that had been packed solid and then drizzled liberally with red and green syrup and liquid palm sugar ("gula melaka" in Malay). Sucking at the ice-balls brought on much delight, especially the licking of fingers and hands as the balls melted down.
To me, sorbets (water ices) are an adult and more sophisticated version of my childhood ice-balls. A couple of week-nights ago, I decided to try my hand at making my very first sorbet using an ice-cream machine. My sorbet base was the honeydew melon, a lovely scented fruit, and to give the sorbet a little kick, I added some Choya Umeshu (a Japanese plum liqueur made from the Ume-fruit).
The original recipe had called for melon liqueur but I do think that Choya with its lovely unique taste (sweet with well balanced acidity) is a perfect alternative without overpowering the honeydew. Choya is also well known for stimulating the appetite, which is perfect to awaken lethagic appetites in hot weather!
The sorbet can be served 'as is' and provides a refreshing taste, or with a combination of other fruits. I used diced mango and honeydew melon balls in the picture above. Mango with its lovely rich yellow color made a wonderful contrast to the sorbet but its cloying sweetness masked the subtlety of the honeydew sorbet and I wouldn't recommend the combination on hindsight. Next time, for color, I'll choose either watermelon or cantaloupe.
- First, place 3/4 cup sugar into saucepan with 300ml water, and stir over moderate heat until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.
- Using one-half of a medium-sized honeydew melon, remove peel and cut into 1-inch dice. Puree in a blender together with the completely cooled sugar syrup and about 3 tablespoons of Choya or if unavailable, any melon liqueur.
- Freeze the puree in the ice-cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
- When puree is the consistency of soft ice-cream, pack into a plastic container, cover and freeze in freezer.