This is a very delicate ice cream that can be made with many types of exotic melons, but one that I find particularly nice with honeydew.

Choose a melon that is sweet and ripe but not so ripe that the flesh is watery, translucent, or mushy. To judge a melon for sweetness, smell the round spot opposite the stem end; it will taste exactly as sweet as it smells.

You will need a literal pound of flesh (melon flesh, that is) for this recipe. For safety, start with a melon that weighs nearly twice that amount. Use only the very sweet flesh, not the less flavorful layer that hugs the rind.

This ice cream won’t hold. Mix and freeze it in the morning for serving that night.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet honeydew flesh, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • About 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed ginger, lemon, or lime juice

Method

  1. Purée the melon and ½ cup sugar in a food processor, scraping down the bowl, as needed, until smooth.
  2. Scrape the mixture into a non-aluminum bowl and stir in the half-and-half. Taste and adjust if and as needed with the additional sugar; the mixture should taste a touch too sweet at room temperature if it is to taste perfect when frozen. Add the ginger, lemon, or lime juice by ½ teaspoons until the flavor rounds on your tongue. Don’t be shy; splash in a bit more and watch the flavor grow.
  3. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface. Let soften slightly before serving.

Serving Suggestions: I like this ice cream with cookies, particularly Crystallized Ginger Butter Squares. Another delicate butter cookie, a simple lemon cake, or a very thin caramelized apple tart would also partner it well.

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