I was working toward a degree in elementary education a few years ago, and one of my classmates was having a snack between classes. It was slices of fresh watermelon sprinkled with chili powder. I was intrigued and asked her about it and she told me that it was traditional in her family. I tasted it and loved it. Watermelon is one of the most refreshing foods available during the summer, so I took my love of watermelon a step further by combining it with one of my other favorite summer foods: sorbet.
Watermelon-Roasted Jalapeño Sorbet
1 cup of water
2 cups of cane sugar
1 orange, zested
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, approximately 2 oranges
6 cups of watermelon
Take the jalapeños and roast them over a fire (like a gas burner on stove) until charred on all sides. Allow them to cool and remove the charred skin and open up and remove all seeds and pithy parts. Mince the jalapeños and reserve for later.
In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar together and stir well. Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
Zest the orange and then juice the oranges and set aside. Cut the watermelon, remove the rind (but save it for pickling), and cut up into large pieces. Process the pieces until smooth and strain into large bowl. I find that straining the pulp makes for a smoother sorbet. Continue processing the watermelon until you have 6 cups of the watermelon puree. To the puree, add the orange zest, orange juice, cooled simple syrup and chill completely.
For this recipe, I am using an electric ice cream maker and placing half of the sorbet mix into the ice cream maker, turning on and running until it is almost firm.
At this point, stir in the jalapeño and continue until the sorbet is completely chilled and firm.
When serving the sorbet, garnish with a sprinkling of chili powder.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the sorbet mixture and use the food processor again and process the mixture until smooth.
Stir in the jalapeño and refreeze. It's ready to serve and may just be the perfect summer dessert.
If you have a Vita-mix like we carry at The Chopping Block, you can make mango sorbet in just 10 minutes.
Love watermelon as much as I do? Be sure to enjoy our Watermelon Arugula Salad, this month's featured recipe.