Tuesday 20 March 2007
[A dress as bright as the sun - Melon and champagne sorbet]
It seems I’ve always been what you would call a summer lover. Forget ski bunnies; for me everything is about sun, heat, sea, sand and ice cream. Oh and I forget: sunglasses.
I am truly inspired by summer and I think it shows.In fact I *so* love summer that I can remember every single one of them: from 1989 to now. Most of my summers were spent at my grand-parents’ house on the Atlantic coast and I would have my lovely cousin as a companion de jeu.
We would build des châteaux de sables immenses [sand castles], pretend we were selling ice cream (which was indeed made of a mix of sand and sea water), make rose water (that smelled like anything but actual rose water) and eventually, we would watch Peau d’Ane over and over again.
It had to be our favourite movie. Actually we knew every single song from it. But we were, first and foremost, fascinated by Peau d’Ane’s dresses.
Une robe couleur du temps [a dress the colour of the sky]
Une robe couleur de lune [a dress the colour of the moon]
Une robe couleur de soleil [a dress as bright as the sun]
We would inevitably end up arguing about which dress was the most beautiful; for me it definitely was the robe couleur du temps. Though, I also really liked the dress as bright as the sun; a tough decision for sure.
However, no matter how pleasant these recollections are, my greatest memory has to be les melons charentais [melons from Charente] that my grandmother used to take back from the market every Saturday morning.
They were juicy and sweet; actually they were exactly what you expect from a melon.
Melon and champagne sorbet
Today I’m still considering melon as a favourite because it offers endless combinations.
I think it does work really well as a sorbet; it’s fragrant and the bitterness of the champagne counterbalances the sweetness of the melon.
The resulting sorbet was really smooth and not icy at all. A real keeper.
Just a short note about how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker – although using an ice cream maker is more convinient and will give better results, you can try the freeze and mix method:
“Pour the ice cream mixture into a wide freezer-proof container. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper to avoid ice crystals forming on the surface. Cover with a lid and place on a level surface in the coldest part of the freezer.
After between ½-1½ hours, the sides of the ice cream will be solid, and the middle will remain a wet slush. Transfer it to a bowl and whisk with an electric beater, or by hand, until uniformly thick.
You could also pulse it in a food processor. When smooth, replace it in the freezer. Repeat 3 times, every ½-1 hour, or until the ice cream is uniformly thick. Freeze for another hour.” (adapted from Waitrose)
Melon and champagne sorbet
200g caster sugar
200ml oz water
1 ripe melon
In a pan boil the water and caster sugar together until it reaches the short thread stage.
De-seed and skin the melon. Chop it into chunks and process until smooth. Add the cooled sugar syrup and champagne to the puréed melon, churn until frozen and place into the freezer.