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Watermelon & Honeydew Sorbets With Lemongrass Sauce

Watermelon & Honeydew Sorbets With Lemongrass Sauce

The reality of the other day’s weather hit me like a brick. Chilly and rainy in Paris and hot and humid (doh!) in Charleston which meant only one thing. I’d better post the sorbet combination we had a couple of weeks ago as we are in the tail end of melon season, at least on this hemisphere. I sure hope B. does not run to the freezer after this. The Watermelon and Honeydew Sorbets with Lemongrass Sauce is gone. I may or may not have anything to do with it…

As Fall was creeping up on us in France, I was having to fight my mom on a daily basis as she tried to feed me entire cantaloupes as often as she could. Ok, I am exaggerating. But really, she loves them. Me? I think I overdosed as a child. Don’t get me wrong, I like cantaloupe just fine (especially with port and proscuitto) but I’d rather have a thick slice of juicy and ripe watermelon or honeydew at this moment in my life.

Lemongrass Sauce Ingredients

Now turn watermelon and honeydew into sorbets and add a few spoonfuls of lemongrass sauce and well… I am all over that too. My turn to wish I had been less gourmande and saved some for my return. A scoop or two would be greatly appreciated today as I keep on editing the pictures I took last week. I promise you Provence – I am just behind on post processing (read, picking my favorites!).

I started this post on Wednesday evening as I was packing to head back home to the US. My suitcase and my heart were heavier than anticipated and I just set this writing bit aside. I am now back home in Charleston and guess what, if it weren’t for the heat and humidity here, I would not feel too much out of place. It’s indeed rainy and gray. I guess Mother Nature is kindly easing me back into real life.

Watermelon & Honeydew Sorbets

Yes, these past two weeks were like a dream. As Shauna mentioned to me yesterday, it was quite a profound trip. Absolutely. The reality of my inbox and to-do list this morning is a necessary evil. I am so grateful for the trip I have just had and all the people who took the time to make it this special. I am also very happy to come back to mounds of work. I know I got that from my grandfather. As we were chatting the other day, he exclaimed "I got to go now. I am starting my second century. I am quite busy you see." And now my restlessness makes sense…

We like cold treats in my family. Ice creams, sorbets, gelato. Two scoops, three scoops, sugar cone, wafer cone…you name it, we like it. When visiting my brother in Toulouse, we stopped at Octave one afternoon and it all made sense. Our table was an array of licorice, coffee, violet, pomelo, rhubarb, apricot ice creams and sorbets. Not all at once and all together! I was quite impressed with the decisive palate of my young nieces. Yep. I liked their parents even more, ahah!


It’s not that we go for weird and colorful all the time in this family but we like to be tickled. In life, in love and in food. We have curious minds by nature but I admit it took me a while to warm up to the idea of the combination of cool clean melon sorbets in a milky lemony lemongrass sauce. I was even more worried when I served it B., Caitlin and Jeff. They got tickled. They loved it.

I did not come up with it. Richard Leach did. Yes, him again. And I should have known not to question it. It is splendid! The guy is simply amazing. I can’t even fathom the finesse and sensitivity of his culinary brain to nail it time and time again.

I know I was skeptical at first, but I am glad my curious mind steered me to try the combo. A pleasant hit of melons, citrus and lemongrass with every bite. The smooth interaction of ice and cream. It all worked. Perfectly.

Watermelon & Honeydew sorbet

Watermelon & Honeydew Sorbets With Lemongrass Sauce, adapted from Richard Leach.

For the watermelon sorbet:
4 cups watermelon, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the honeydew sorbet:
4 cups honeydew, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the lemongrass sauce:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 1/2 stalks lemongrass
3/4 cup lemon juice

Prepare the watermelon sorbet:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve or chinois. Process in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep frozen until ready to use.

Prepare the honeydew sorbet:
Repeat the exact same steps as with the watermelon sorbet.

Prepare the sauce:
In a medium saucepan set over medium high heat, stir together the milk, 1/4 sup sugar and 2 stalks of lemongrass, finely chopped. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Refrigerate until cold.
In a small saucepan, set over medium high heat, stir together the lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the last 1/2 stalk of lemongrass, also finely chopped. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes also. Refrigerate until cold.
Once both mixtures are cold, whisk them together and strain to remove the lemongrass.
Serve with the sorbets.

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Jessica @ How Sweet September 10, 2010 um 3:44 pm

Not only are those colors beautiful, but that just sounds so delicious and refreshing.

Anna September 10, 2010 um 4:08 pm

As always, your photos are amazingly gorgeous! And so summery! Its quite a bit cooler where I am, but melon sorbet sounds so good.

martina September 10, 2010 um 4:35 pm

Welcome back home! I hope you will keep in your heart all the emotions you've got trough as long as you can. Lovely to read so much passion for your home country.

Unknown September 10, 2010 um 4:46 pm

It's good to see that you're back! Plus I can't wait to see the upcoming posts that you've got planned for us. That sorbet is so beautiful…! It makes me jealous, because I'm living in Germany this year and all the melons seem to be flavourless (and imported from Spain)… but at least I get to live vicariously through other people's food blogs, hehe.

notyet100 September 10, 2010 um 5:23 pm

slurp i gonna try tis

oneordinaryday September 10, 2010 um 6:11 pm

I think this sounds and looks wonderful. Light and refreshing and perfect for those sweltering days that are hanging on.

I'm with you about the cantaloupe. For some reason, I can't get past the musky smell.

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking September 10, 2010 um 6:53 pm

The color of those sorbets… magnificent! Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and recipes.

elizabeyta September 10, 2010 um 7:20 pm

Gives me ideas! Thanks 🙂 and yum!

Patricia Scarpin September 10, 2010 um 7:28 pm

I have made watermelon sorbet and it so refreshing! I have got to try the other flavors now.
Beautiful as usual, sweetie – and it's great to know you had so much fun in France.

Gen September 10, 2010 um 8:10 pm

Je viens juste de faire du sorbet au melon! De quoi faire durer un peu les fruits d'été! C'est ravissant.

Livia September 10, 2010 um 9:27 pm

That looks very refreshing. And I think, for once, I have enough room in my freezer to give that a try.

I am surprised that the sauce is made with milk and all the delicate juggling to keep it from curdling. With lemongrass, I frequently think of coconut milk, and I bet that would go well for this purpose, as well.

Your family sounds wonderful. I am glad you had this trip.

Sherman Unkefer September 10, 2010 um 9:59 pm

Wow, there is something so summer about sorbet! I would love to try a licorice sorbet – that sounds amazing.

natalia September 10, 2010 um 10:35 pm

I know fall is just around the corner in most parts of the world, but sorbet recipes are always welcome in Puerto Rico's eternal summery weather. I'll be making these this weekend!!! Thanks!

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} September 11, 2010 um 4:11 am

WOW the lemongrass sauce sounds intriguing. I'm worried about the milk splitting with the lemon juice? Is there any precautions you think I must take to make sure I don't end up wasting?

Helene September 11, 2010 um 5:37 am

Shaheen: that's precisely what the recipe instructions are written the way they are with the 2 different mixtures cooled and combined at the end. Did not curdle on me at all.

mycookinghut September 11, 2010 um 6:57 am

Fantastic and yummy looking as usual! I really love the idea of using lemongrass sauce!

The InTolerant Chef ™ September 11, 2010 um 1:07 pm

I love watermelon, but I am fascinated by the concept of the honeydew. I love sorbets and icecream, my favourtie desserts!

LimeCake September 11, 2010 um 3:30 pm

your photos are always so lovely! watermelon sorbet sounds delicious!

Dana September 11, 2010 um 10:12 pm

I've had watermelon sorbet before, but haven't even HEARD of a honeydew sorbet. That sounds so marvellous.

delicieux September 11, 2010 um 11:51 pm

I recently purchased an ice cream maker and these recipes are going on the must make list. The watermelon sorbet looks so delicious and refreshing.

jodye @ 'scend food September 12, 2010 um 2:38 am

How gorgeous! Your sorbets sounds wonderful and simple, and I love the idea of the lemongrass sauce. I'm sure it's a wonderful combination.

Jennifer September 12, 2010 um 5:58 pm

Gorgeous! Its been forever since I have made watermelon sorbet. I love the sauce!

a. maren September 12, 2010 um 8:39 pm

i find the lemongrass sauce especially appealing. mmm.

Cookin' Canuck September 13, 2010 um 2:48 am

Welcome home, Helene. I'm sure it was a bittersweet good-bye that you said to your family, but it sounds as though you have plenty of wonderful memories to stash away for rainy days.

Beautiful sorbets – colorful and refreshing.

Gaia – the Cook September 13, 2010 um 8:42 am

Mmmmmmm, this looks sooooo good!

The Bella Life September 13, 2010 um 7:57 pm

As I read this, I have one of my last watermelons of the season sitting in my fridge (sniff… sniff…). I'm with you. I would rather munch on watermelon or honeydew. Cantelope takes a back seat. This recipe is tempting me to use my last watermelon on sorbets. After all, it's still over 100 degrees outside here.


sweetlifeinthevalley September 14, 2010 um 12:40 am

I have never tried lemongrass. This recipe looks amazing and a great place to start with lemongrass.

The Whimsical Wife September 14, 2010 um 12:52 am

Loving your photo's! You have a real touch that's for sure!

Unknown September 14, 2010 um 6:14 am

So totally bookmarking this.

Jen September 14, 2010 um 7:35 pm

Ooh la la. Your trip looks beautiful!

I just returned from a two-week holiday in the South of France also, but I primarily traveled between St. Tropez and Nice. We had a beautiful little house in the Haut-Var near Le Muy.

I cannot wait to return to all that I didn't get a chance to see!

margie September 14, 2010 um 11:12 pm

I love watermelon and cantaloupe (and I tend to eat a cantaloupe in a day, half at a time – but mostly because my husband detests the smell), but I've always had a complicated relationship with honeydew.

It may be due to growing up in Alaska, where it was the chosen "travels well" item on all fruit platters, but had little to no flavor. One of these days I will buy a local one at the farmer's market and find out if I've been missing anything.

test it comm September 15, 2010 um 1:03 am

Those look so refreshing and good! Great shots!

Nikki September 15, 2010 um 4:52 pm

This looks like the perfect way to bring summer to an end and welcome fall! Beautiful pictures! I love your blog!

Mallory Elise September 16, 2010 um 9:27 pm

i love the shot of the bottle in the window. i wish i had awesome props. i have no props what so ever.

The Urban Baker September 17, 2010 um 6:28 pm

your photos are mouth watering! can't wait to see you in SF!

keighley@thebellalife September 18, 2010 um 7:05 pm

Can we please be friends or can I at least get cooking lessons from you? I am so insanely jealous that you are so talented with this stuff. Every time I step into the kitchen my husband holds his breath in fear…

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