It’s been such an obscenely hot summer I’ve been looking for lots of ways to cool off. I posted Strawberry Sorbet and my Lemon (or Lemon Thyme) Buttermilk Popsicles, and I’m at it again – Cracked Black Pepper Honeydew Sorbet – I like that this recipe makes great Sorbet and Popsicles. Per serving about 51 calories and three ingredients – can’t go wrong there!
Yeah, this is another of my weird flavor combination but it really works – the flecks of pepper dance off your tongue and give interest to the sweet, fruity honeydew flavor. This sorbet is extremely low in added sugar and freezes hard, so leave it out for about 20 to 25 minutes before you plan on serving and don’t expect creamy perfection. If it crumbles, leave it a few more minutes. Rinsing your ice cream scoop with very hot water helps, too. (If you would like it creamier, more sugar or a little alcohol will help, see “Put Your Own Spin on It,” below.)
Now, usually with recipes, I try to be exact, but although this Sorbet is super easy, it’s been hard for me to figure out the “perfect” amount for an ice cream freezer. The sizes of the honeydew vary, so you’ll need a smallish honeydew, and plan to have a few dixie cups or your popsicle molds on hand in case there is any extra slush that won’t fit in your ice-cream maker. Mine made 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream and about six popsicles, so I’m counting it as 12 servings for the nutritional values – each serving of sorbet as about 2 scoops.
Yet another way to serve – and probably my favorite: A scoop or two of the Cracked Black Pepper and Honeydew Sorbet in a glass with clear pop (it’s a Minnesota thing – maybe I should have said soda?) or club soda – marvelous on the deck on a hot evening – and floats are appreciated by kids and grown ups alike!
Cracked Pepper Honeydew Sorbet, makes about 1 1/2 quarts of sorbet, plus possibly a little extra.
- One Smallish Honeydew or about 3/4′s of a larger one
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (don’t use preground from a can – it just won’t work the same)
Cut honeydew into sections, remove seeds and rind.
Place in food processor and puree with sugar (you may have to do this in batches.) Cool in the fridge for at least two hours and up to overnight. Add pepper and freeze in ice cream maker.
As mentioned above, depending on the size of your honeydew, you may have extra “slush” on hand – perfect for popsicles so have your mold ready or dixie cups and sticks on hand.
If you wash the honeydew first, you can place the leftover rind in a pitcher with cold water and refrigerate overnight for your own flavored water. (I also swish a bit of water around in the food processor bowl and add it to the pitcher.) Strain the next day before serving.
Time and Money Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
- Honeydew: I always try to buy on sale – and I usually find the best prices on the per item type sales – when a honeydew goes on sale for $1.99, for instance, as opposed to so much per pound. Honeydew is a great snack to have on hand, and if it looks like the family won’t be eating it all, I cube it up and make a fruit salad. If you buy a large one, as mentioned above, the popsicles work great, or you can save out a few slices for general eating. Cost: $1.99
- Black Pepper: Buy in bulk in the produce aisle and store in a cool dark place. If you don’t have a pepper grinder or spice grinder, throw the peppercorns in a heavy pan and place another pan over them, crushing them. (The larger pan on the bottom keeps them from scattering all over your counter.)
- Sugar: Always on sale during holidays, especially the winter holidays, I try to never pay full price for sugar. Cost for 1/3 cup is about 3 cents.
Nutrition: (based on 12 servings) calories 51; cal from fat (2%) .98; tot fat .12g; sat fat /03g; chol 0mg; sod 15.06 mg; tot carb 13.3g; fib .67g; sug 12.31g; prot .45g
Put Your own Spin on It:
- I haven’t tried this yet, but a tablespoon or so of some type of alcohol will help keep this from being such a hard freeze – I imagine a vodka would work very nicely with a clean, fresh flavor or maybe tequila would add a bit of punch.
- If you want a freeze that’s not so hard, add more sugar, up to a cup or a cup and a half – but remember, honeydew is very sweet as it is – too much sugar would be absolutely cloying.
- If you love the black pepper idea, add more!
- A little lime would add a bit of zip to the honeydew.
Recipe made July 2012