Most people will agree that watermelon is one of the best summer treats. It's sweet, juicy, and just so refreshing on a hot day. Another thing we love about it is how versatile it is. Cut it up into cubes or by the slice, add it to salads, grill it, freeze it, mix it with booze—you can even make a keg out of it! If you love this vibrant fruit as much as we do, then we have a new recipe you'll want to try.
Featured in the new book, Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories ($13, amazon.com), this Spicy Watermelon Sorbet—Nieve de Sandía Picosita in Spanish—makes for the perfect summer dessert. The recipe is a twist on a popular street food seen all throughout Mexico: fresh, cut up fruit topped with a sprinkling of salt, zesty ground chiles, and lime juice. Vendors will also oftentimes use mango, and pineapple, as well as veggies like jicama or cucumber. This version blends and freezes bright watermelon and calls for fresh green chiles instead of ground chiles, which enhances the flavor even more. We can't wait to try it!
Read below for the full recipe!
6 cups cubed watermelon (about 2 pounds; see Note)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Juice of 2 limes
2 serrano chiles, or 1 small jalapeño chile, coarsely chopped, with seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground piquín chile, plus more to taste (optional)
Salted ground chiles, for sprinkling (optional, look for Tajin brand)
How to Make It
In a blender, combine the watermelon, sugar, corn syrup, lime juice, chopped chiles, salt, and piquín chile. Puree until smooth. Taste and, if desired, add more piquín chile. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Freeze and churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the sorbet has finished churning, mix in the reserved watermelon seeds (if using). For a soft consistency, serve the sorbet right away; for a firmer consistency, transfer it to a container, cover, and allow to harden in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Serve sprinkled with salted ground chiles, if desired.
If you are using watermelon with seeds and would like to add the seeds to the sorbet, remove the seeds before cutting the melon into cubes, and then mix them in after churning the sorbet. If the seeds are simply left in the flesh, they will break down when the melon is pureed.