Salted Watermelon Sorbet


15 Jul Salted Watermelon Sorbet

Sometimes simple is best. No gooey sauces. No sugary sprinkles. No toasted flakes of anything. Sometimes all you need is a tiny pinch of salt.

Last week, over Watermelon Agua Fresca, Andrew told me that as a child one of his favourite memories was eating big slices of watermelon sprinkled with salt. As a kid, we too slurped our way through the oppressive summer heat with watermelon. Only all we did was spit the seeds at each other and hope no adult noticed.

Within days of our conversation, I came across a recipe for watermelon sorbet that called for a dash of fleur de sel. Taking my cue from the agua fresca, I swapped lime for the original lemon juice and added a hint of vodka to keep the sorbet nice and smooth. But I kept the salt just as is.

For this refreshing dessert, leave the chocolate syrup in the fridge. Just scoop yourself a bowl and let the icy watermelon sorbet slide down your throat. Take that, relentless heat!

What cool treats do you turn to when the thermometer refuses to dip?

Salted Watermelon Sorbet

Adapted from Salty Sweets: Delectable Desserts and Tempting Treats with a Sublime Kiss of Salt, by Christie Matheson. Published by Harvard Common Press, © 2009.

Despite a splash of booze, this recipe is kid-friendly —  although I suspect the adults might not want to share.

Makes about 1 quart

  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 cups watermelon chunks, seeds and rind discarded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  1. Simmer water and sugar over low heat in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. When the sugar is fully dissolved remove from heat and let the sugar syrup cool.
  2. Working in two batches, put watermelon, sugar syrup, lime juice, fleur de sel and vodka in a blender. Puree until smooth. Using a sieve, strain mixture into a large bowl to catch any stray watermelon seeds.
  3. Chill sorbet mixture for an hour (or overnight), then churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
  4. Put churned sorbet into a resealable container and freeze an hour or so before serving.

Related Post

No Comments
  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 15:28h, 15 July Reply

    Sigh. That sounds incredible.
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Aside =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:42h, 15 July Reply

      It’s a very nice change of pace. You could fancy it up with chocolate chips (to look like watermelon seeds) but why bother? It’s refreshing as is.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:40h, 15 July Reply

    Watermelon is something I typically don’t enjoy … I know, weird, but true! That said, the added vodka and salt could persuade me to give it a chance! :)
    .-= The Diva on a Diet´s last blog ..Give-Away- 2010 Nautica New York City Triathlon Edition =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:47h, 15 July Reply

      Why not try it with cantaloupe or honeydew? No rule says you can’t swap one melon for another.

      I don’t like cantaloupe (aka musk melon or rockmelon) so not liking watermelon isn’t all that weird. We all have our quirks. And this one allows me to have your share of the pink melon, so that’ sokay with me.

  • Amy Proulx
    Posted at 16:10h, 15 July Reply

    We eat our watermelon with feta cheese and mint, salty, fragrant, creamy and sweet. If I could only convince Mr. H to stop shopping, and leave a little room for the ice cream machine bucket, we’d be in business with this one.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:49h, 15 July Reply

      I adore that type of salad. I must make some soon. I’ve got mint in the garden just begging to be used.

      And make room in the freezer for the ice cream bucket. Now! Tell Mr. H. that Ms C demands it. Yeah, like that would make a difference.

      If you must, come over and make ice cream with me sometime. My ice cream barrel is always chilling.

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 18:54h, 15 July Reply

    Why oh why did I not stay to eat with YOU??? I didn’t know this was around. Love. Robin

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:20h, 19 July Reply

      @Robin Smart, for those who care, Robin came over and tasted the sorbet later that day. She loved it. And I’m officially off the hook on this one.

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 09:29h, 16 July Reply

    I love watermelon. My kid loves watermelon. We all love ice cream…

    Every summer, you make it very hard for me to refrain from running out and buying an ice cream maker. Still have dreams of last summer’s mocha ice cream…

    But first, I have to google fleur de sel. Flower salt just doesn’t sound the same…

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:21h, 19 July Reply

      @Lisa MacColl, one day I will break you down and you will buy an ice cream maker. Sorbets are low-cal, healthy and inexpensive to make. I’m sure you can justify it.

      And then you can make the mocha ice cream whenever you want :-)

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 17:06h, 19 July Reply

    Watermelon with salt on it is really good.

    My ice cream maker is churning the inaugural batch of ice cream. I couldn’t do it anymore…Now I have to find that recipe for mocha ice cream you made last year.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:23h, 19 July Reply

      @Lisa MacColl, wait. Does this mean you broke down and got an ice cream maker? YAY!!!! What type of maker did you buy?

      If I don’t have the recipe for mocha ice cream on the site, email me and I’ll send it to you.

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 20:09h, 19 July Reply

    I bought a cusinart one. Ice cream was good but didn’t freeze completely. Still, it was yummy for the first try. I found the mocha ice cream on your blog. I think I’ll perfect my technique first…

    My kid is eating her way through the watermelon I had earmarked for the watermelon sorbet. Oh well, what am I going to say, no?

    New blog idea-ice cream 101!

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 14:25h, 22 July Reply

    1/2 batch of vanilla frozen yogurt worked like a charm and my daughter adored it.
    What to try next…what to try next…

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:48h, 22 July Reply

      @Lisa MacColl, wonderful to hear! Glad those tips worked.

      I’m aching for a hazelnut ice cream, myself. But if I were a kid? I think old fashioned strawberry ice cream is hard to beat. And the local berries are in season.

Post A Reply to Charmian Christie Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!