A reader recently commented on cantaloupe ice cream, wondering if any of us here at SVKitchen could suggest a recipe for it. Although I’ve made cantaloupe sorbet in the past, cantaloupe ice cream had not even occurred to me.
Always intrigued by the thought of something new, and inspired by the bounty of melon season, I decided to give it a try.
My goal was to create a really fresh tasting, intensely melon-y ice cream, so I made my base in the water oven, which is simply the easiest way I know to make the egg-based custard.
Meanwhile, I puréed the flesh of a ripe, sweet cantaloupe. Although my blender would not create a completely smooth purée, I decided against straining the fruit, figuring that a tiny bit of pulp would enhance the final results.
Many ice cream recipes rely on cooking the fruit, but I feel this completely changes the flavor, and not for the better in most cases. Thus, I cooked my custard base without the purée, only adding the fruit once the custard had completely cooled. I like to temper the ice cream base before churning by chilling it overnight, but if you’re in a hurry, by all means skip this step.
My cantaloupe ice cream turned out perfectly delicious, and as I had hoped, every bite bursts with sweet melon flavor. Thanks for the inspiration, Stephen!
Makes about 1 quart
- Preheat the water bath to 180°F (82°C).
- Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk lightly. Add the sugar in a steady stream, whisking to combine. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to blend. Transfer the custard base to a large food bag and hand seal, removing as much air as possible.
- Cook the ice cream base for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the cantaloupe into ½-inch cubes: you need 3 cups of fruit. Place the fruit and lime juice in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Measure 2 cups of purée for this recipe. If you want a completely smooth-textured ice cream, strain the purée. Refrigerate the purée until it is cold.
- Remove the custard from the water oven and quick-chill the bag in an ice and water bath, consisting of at least 50% ice, to rapidly reduce the temperature. It may be necessary to add more ice during the chilling process to maintain a safe chilling temperature.
- When the ice cream base is completely chilled, stir in the cold cantaloupe purée and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.
- Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a clean freezer-safe container, press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the ice cream, cover, and freeze until solid.