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Watermelon sorbet with berries and halva

And finally, dessert.

I picked this one out of Saha, yet another one of the great cookbooks from the Malouf team. This dessert was, in my opinion, the star of the mezze feast (don’t tell the labne balls).

Watermelon sorbet

800g watermelon flesh (about a quarter of a watermelon)
200g caster sugar
70g glucose (I could not find this and so we used about 50g extra of caster sugar)
200ml water
juice of 2 limes
splash of rosewater

  • Chop up the watermelon, discard the seeds, and whiz it in a food processor.
  • Run through a sieve to remove the pulp.
  • Put the sugar and water (and glucose if using) into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for five minutes.
  • Mix the watermelon puree and sugar syrup, and leave to cool.
  • Add the lime juice and a splash of rosewater. As advised previously, do not go heavy with the rosewater. Your sorbet may end up tasting like soap.
  • Put the mixture into an ice cream machine and turn into sorbet.

We had the usual problem of the ice cream not freezing properly. This might have something to do with me being too impatient to chill the mixture properly in the fridge before putting it in the ice cream machine. One day I’ll get to the bottom of this…

Because the sorbet was not well frozen by the machine, we put it in the freezer to chill overnight. This turned the sorbet into something that was quite icy and not particularly aerated (tasty nonetheless). My travels with ice cream/sorbet making are a little frustrating.

I have read that you can make ice cream by hand, even if you don’t have an ice cream machine. You can simply semi-freeze the mixture in the freezer, and then beat it with a hand-mixer and then return to the freezer until it is semi-frozen. And then repeat. This sounds like a plausible method and I would like to try it one day…

Watermelon juice plus rosewater and lime

Watermelon sorbet with berries, halva and pistachios

100 g caster sugar
100ml water
1 vanilla bean
Peel of 1 lemon
2 punnets blackberries
1 punnet strawberries
1/3 cup mint leaves, shredded
100g pistachio halva, crumbled (we bought this from a Middle Eastern food shop)
W&R sorbet, as above
80g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped and sieved

  • First, make some vanilla sugar syrup. Simply put the sugar, water, vanilla bean and lemon peel into a small saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Remove the vanilla bean.
  • Divide the berries between small serving bowls. Pour over some of the sugar syrup and mint and toss gently. Crumble the halva over the berries. Spoon some sorbet on top. Garnish with the pistachio nuts.

We made about double quantity but did not worry too much about exact measurements. The amount above should serve at least four people, with leftover sorbet and vanilla syrup.


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2 Responses to “Mezze: Watermelon sorbet with berries and halva”

  1. Hannah says:

    I *love* the idea of this!! And more importantly, it could work for my family with its gluten/dairy/orange/everything allergies. Hurrah! (Except I still have two months travelling before I can get home to make this for the family. Ah well. It’ll keep. :))

  2. Saskia says:

    Thanks Hannah – this is a good ‘allergy’ dish. Except for the pistachios, I imagine!

    I’ll definitely make this one again – it’s a winner!

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