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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.

Coconut Creme Brulee And Coconut Sorbet

I am sure your holiday baking is full of cookies and cakes and after spending a lot of time in the kitchen, the last thing you think about is more desserts. Well, what if I were to bring you these two-bite coconut creme brulees and coconut sorbet? Do I see a sparkle in your eyes again? Granted you have to like coconut to begin with but knowing you can keep the cremes plain or flavored to your taste is always a good thing.

Since the weather had been so nice and it felt more like a cool summer day than early December, I brought these along to our weekly get together with the neighbors. We were trying to get in full Christmas mode decorating C’s trees (the party was at her house), drinking egg nogg while the kids were making sandmen instead of snowmen outside. Yet, no one was in the mood for fruitcake, pumpkin roll or chocolate cake. I had just finished a batch of macarons for gift giving and was facing an evil amount of egg yolks, so creme brulees were the obvious choice.

My dear B. hates coconut with a vengeance, not the flavor but the texture, what he calls those gritty shreds, while I on the other hand love it…and love seems like a small word: the scent, the texture, the flavor…everything! I will always remember the day my dad brought a fresh coconut back to the house, piercing holes in it, the juice dripping down our chins, and cutting it open chopping its flesh out…nothing like what you find at the stores in pretty blue packages these days. The opening of the coconut was something of a ceremonial, much like the day he brought home papaya, scooped the seeds out,drizzled it with lime juice and handed a half to each of us…the best moment in a girl’s life: eating with my hands, with juice and fruit all over and not a care in the world!

Back to the creme brulees though. Since I had some coconut texture haters in the group,I decided to infuse the milk with the flesh ad pass it through a sieve prior to baking. The only shred of shreds (no pun intended) is the toasted coconut on top of the sorbet which you can omit if necessary. I used what C. had on hand, sweetened coconut so I reduced the sugar in the creme brulee batter and since it has caramelized sugar on top, I think you won’t really miss it either. The sorbet is a simple syrup mixed with coconut milk and processed in a ice cream machine but you can achieve a nice sorbet by doing as follows: freeze the mixture for a couple of hours, take it out and whip it in your mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand held mixer. Repeat a couple of times.

Coconut Creme Brulee And Coconut Sorbet:

Serves 4

For the Creme Brulee:
1 cup egg yolks (between 6 and 8 depending on the size of your eggs)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup grated coconut (increase sugar to 1 cup if you use unsweetened coconut)
1/4cup brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup white sugar for brulee topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Place 4 ramequins inside a roasting pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. Add the coconut. Heat the cream until scalding hot. Slowly whisk it into the egg yolk mixture, mix well,but ot too vigourously or you will add toomuch air. Pour into a container and let cool to room temperature,skim off the top foam if necessary. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the coconut and divide among the 4 ramequins. Pour water to about halfway up the sides of the ramequins and put the pan in the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the mixture appear almost set,it should stillwiggleabit in the middle. It is ok to remove the pan from the oven at that point as the custard will continue to bake and set.
Let cool to room, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Right before serving: divide sugar on top of each custard and use a blow torch to caramelise the top or put the pan under the broiler.
A good creme brulee is hot on top, room temp in the middle and cold at the bottom.

For The Sorbet:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 can coconut milk

In a saucepan, heat the water with the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add to the coconut milk.Let cool to room temperature and process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, or use the hand held or mixer method described above.

Champagne Sorbet: Anniversaries And Hot Summer Days

Champage Sorbet B. and I celebrated our ninth year anniversary July 11….well, when I say celebrated it’s not exactly true. Oh yes, there were cards and smoochies, but he left flowers in the car that night not expecting temperatures in the high 80s by six o’clock in the morning. He woke me up with a bunch of pretty but yet wilted flowers, that was comical and it reminded of the way I felt on my wedding day…wilting and melting back in 1998 under the hot sun of Charleston. I am surprised that nobody back then tried to dissuade me from a July wedding. What was I thinking? Well, I had no idea it was going to be over 100F that day, much like our anniversary day last week.
Anyway, back to our celebration. We both worked late night so we decided to stay home, grill some seafood, drink some Champagne and relax on the porch. We were so tired that we barely drank one glass each and crashed into bed. Oops!

We felt a little strange the day after: should we have made more of a production out of it? Should we make up for it and go out somewhere fancy? Any of our friends would tell you that it would not be like us. We do things everyday to show our love and respect for each other. They are not grand gestures but they truly come from the heart. Oh sure, I am not going to play it all cool, we do have fancier celebrations but I’d choose a picnic on the beach under a full moon over a formal restaurant dining room. Those evenings are usually spent with my parents when they come visit. Going out with them is a rare treat so then we make a big deal out of it, plus ordering with my dad around is an adventure in itself (I’d better savethat for another post).

What about the Champagne Sorbet? (good you’re still reading) Well, we had most of the bottle left and still some fizz in it but no real urge or desire to drink it right away. What to do? Cocktails, vinegars, sauces,….Sorbet!!! Since it was still scorching hot outside I figured it would be a great way to end dinner that night.
The recipe could not be any simpler and if you do not have an ice cream maker, do not worry. Once you are ready to freeze the sorbet mixture, pour it into a glass container and freeze for a couple of hours. With an handheld immersion blender, Kitchen Aid or hand mixer, whisk the dough for a miute or so. Return the dish to the freezer and repeat a couple more times. Et Voila!

Champage Sorbet, adapted from Kieran at Ice Cream Ireland (how I wish I were his neighbor!)

Serves 6 (or one tipsy Tartelette!)

300gr sugar
500 ml water
250 ml good quality Champagne
50 ml lemon juice

Bring the water to a boil and stir in the sugar, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Let cool completely.
Stir in the champagne and lemon juice.
Process in your ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions or use the method described above.

Champagne Sorbet