(Almost) Instant Refreshment: Watermelon Sorbetto from The Perfect Scoop

First things first: as David Lebovitz gets lauded for his masterful new ice cream cookbook The Perfect Scoop, it’s important to note that but for the recipe on page 73, this book would be considered an abomination. That recipe–for Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt–lends the book an authority and sophistication that it would otherwise lack. And sure, it just so happens that the recipe is by yours truly and that David gives me credit in the recipe’s introduction (he calls me “a nice Jewish boy”), but objectively speaking that recipe makes the book. That recipe and this one for watermelon sorbetto.

Ok, and all the others too. This book is incredible. As you may recall, the frozen canister component of my ice cream maker went missing, so I went to Williams Sonoma and used part of a gift certificate to get another. They don’t sell that component separate, so I had to buy a whole new ice cream maker, but for $60 it came with TWO frozen canisters: quite a bargain! (And the best $60 you can spend to ensure a happy summer.) [Actually, you can get one with one canister on Amazon right now for only $50: click here!]

When I got home, I cleaned the canisters thoroughly and popped them into the freezer. The next day, I came home from a hot afternoon parched and craving icy refreshment. Could I use David’s book to sate my craving? How long would it take? What could I make fast?

I looked for a recipe that didn’t get heated too much so that I’d only have to chill it for a little while in the fridge before putting it into the ice cream maker: the watermelon sorbetto fit the bill.

I went to Key Foods and bought this giant piece of watermelon, about 4 lbs:


Following David’s instruction, I cut the melon into chunks and placed it into the food processor:




I measured out three cups of juice and poured 1/2 cup of that juice into a sauce pan and added 1/2 cup sugar and a big pinch of salt. I heated it until the sugar dissolved (that didn’t take long) and then added it back to the remaining 2 1/2 cups of juice in a giant bowl. To that bowl, I added 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice and 2 Tbs vodka (which is optional). Then, I placed it in the fridge, and prayed to the gods to give me patience.

But my patience didn’t last long. Half an hour later I was desperate for some watermelon sorbetto. So I removed a frozen canister from the freezer, attached it to the ice cream maker base, poured the watermelon liquid in, submerged the paddle, placed the lid and cranked it on.


After about 20 minutes, the sorbet got quite thick so, as David suggests, I added 2 Tbs mini semisweet chocolate chips, which look like seeds. Here’s that lead picture again so you can savor the beauty of what I then put in my mouth:

It was fantastic. And super simple. And not expensive. And did I mention refreshing? I ate so much that my stomach hurt, but we don’t need to go into that. All I’ll say is that David’s book, like surfing and The Beach Boys, is a pathway to instant summer happiness. Thanks David–you almost make me glad I don’t have an air conditioner!

8 thoughts on “(Almost) Instant Refreshment: Watermelon Sorbetto from The Perfect Scoop”

  1. i have a question – do you have to make it with the canister? i’m a total novice at sorbet making – please help, i’m dying for a lick of homemade sorbet (watermelon is on sale at the moment :) )

  2. How about leaving the chocolate chips, i know its the favourite addition for all american desserts, but what about adding frozen grapes?

    or frozen grapefruit segments?

    even strawberries!!!!

    but forget about the chocochips!

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