Alton Brown's Summer Watermelon Sorbet

Alton Brown shares two different recipes for making a perfectly textured watermelon sorbet. When temperatures start climbing, an ice cold dish of watermelon sorbet is the perfect way to cool off. Alton Brown shows you how to make delicious home-made watermelon sorbet in a few easy-to-follow steps.

While this recipe can be done with any melon (or just about fruit, for that matter) watermelon sorbet just seems like a perfect summertime treat. It's quick and easy to prepare, provided you have the right tools and a little bit of patience.


While Alton unexpectedly takes a dip halfway through this video, he does so to prove a point. As he explains, there are two ways that this watermelon sorbet can be made: there is the super sweet yet simple "kids" version which is literally just pureed watermelon and sugar, or a more "adult" version, which uses a little bit of vodka.

The "kids" version of the sorbet is one of the simplest recipes you can imagine: you simply puree about a pound and a half of watermelon, whisk it together with two cups of sugar, and put that mix in the fridge for about an hour. Once it is nice and cool, put it in an ice cream maker and let it churn for about twenty to twenty five minutes. Then comes the hardest part: putting the sorbet in the fridge and waiting a few hours while it finishes really freezing up.

For the "adult" version, you use vodka to keep your sorbet from freezing too much or too fast. Having said that, you're only using two tablespoons of vodka, so the alcohol content should be a non-factor. You puree the melon just as you would with the "kids" version, then add three tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of vodka, and nine ounces of sugar. Since these are all going in the food processor together, you don't even have to whisk it. Then prepare it in exactly the same way.

This simplicity of this recipe hinges upon having a food processor or blender that can be used to puree the fruit, and having an ice cream maker. While we feel like most people have some means of pureeing food, an ice cream maker is probably less common in your kitchen. There are other methods of making ice cream without a dedicated ice cream maker if you're willing to search online for them. One warning: if you try to use liquid nitrogen, please please please be careful!!

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