As I was thinking about foods for Cinco de Mayo, I started remembering the amazing ice cream and sorbet shop that was in one of the towns we took groups when I was volunteering in Mexico a few years ago. The original shop had a ridiculously huge selection of flavors while the branch in the town I was based in was still pretty impressive. Having looked the company up, it seems they’ve expanded into a mini-chain so it seems others agree they are certainly doing something right. One flavor you would get there and other places and that to me seems very typical of Mexico is watermelon sorbet, or ‘nieve de sandia’ that I decided to make my own version of when I saw some cute mini-watermelons had appeared in the supermarket. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
Watermelon is actually one of the more boring flavors that I could have had in Mexico; you’d get ones spiked with tequilla or chili, as well as ones made form vegetables (like avocado paletas). As well as the flavors, Mexican ice cream is a little different from what you may be used to in that it is often not quite as sweet and may seem a bit more ‘icy’ in some cases. However they are pretty much always made of all natural ingredients, and are always delicious.
This watermelon sorbet is based on a typical sorbet base of sugar syrup mixed with the fruit. I’ve kept the sugar relatively low, but it is still sweet, and there’s a bit of lime which goes really well with the watermelon. It is a little more icy than some sorbets (I suspect helped in my case by the fact I kept forgetting to stir it, it may be less so done in an ice cream maker), almost like a slushy if you crush it up, but this is as I say in the style of many Mexican ‘nieves’ and the flavor is absolutely wonderful. It’s fresh and fruity and has a delicious almost aromatic quality, just as you would expect from watermelon. It’s definitely one to enjoy on a warm day, it’s so refreshing, but I was still happy to dig in on a less-than-perfect April day as well. I can see this being a favorite this summer.
- 1/3 cup water 80ml
- 1/4 cup sugar 4tbsp/60ml
- 2 1/2 cups watermelon 350g, deseeded and cut in chunks(about 1 1/2cups pureed)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Put the water and sugar in a small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Blend the watermelon chunks until smooth then add the lime juice, cooled sugar syrup and mix well.
- Pour into a container and cover with a lid and put into the freezer. Take it out roughly every 1-2 hours to scrape down the sides that have frozen and mash them in to the rest of the mixture until it has largely frozen (you probably will mix it three or so times). Leave to freeze overnight. Alternatively, use an ice cream maker.
Try these other frozen treats:
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