Scooped: Watermelon Sorbet
There was a story in the New York Times a couple years ago about farmers shifting towards growing smaller, personal-sized watermelons at the expense of the mammoth, seedy ones of yore. Well if that's true, the good shopkeeps of Chinatown aren't hearing any of it. Melons in these parts are as massive as ever, large enough to give even an office full of Serious Eaters trouble.
So what do you do if you wind up with more fruit than you can possibly eat, as can happen so easily with watermelon? It's not great jam fodder, and though the rinds are great for pickling, the flesh is rarely treated that way.
This is what watermelon sorbet is for. And when my recent watermelon binge resulted in too much melon, it was a beautiful thing.
The recipe here is scalable to whatever amount of watermelon you have. Use 1/4 cup of sugar per cup of strained melon purée for a scoopable ice that isn't overwhelmed with sweetness. That ratio will produce a sorbet on the lighter side, not as dense or plush as, say, strawberry, but more refreshing. It's really an old school water ice, with the clean flavor of watermelon and a juicy brightness as it melts on the tongue.
Cocoa nibs come by way of our guide to granitas, and look! They really do look like watermelon seeds! They also add a subtle, bittersweet, roasty crunch to the simple, light sorbet.
This sorbet is scoopable straight from the freezer, but you'll be much happier after letting it thaw for ten minutes on the counter to loosen it up.