Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Watermelon-Tomato Sorbet with Basil

Ahhh...  to answer the age-old question of whether the tomato lies in the camp with the fruit or the vegetable...  This week, chalk one up to the fruit side, because these tomatoes are the star of the dessert course.  With watermelon-tomato salads becoming very popular these days in the South, I was inspired to try a sweet, melty version of this in the form of a watermelon-tomato sorbet.  I was further enabled by a recent thrift store find of a soft-server ice cream maker for $4.99!!!  But don't worry.  You don't need an ice cream maker to make this recipe (see NOTE below).
-2 medium to large tomatoes (I used tangerine tomatoes), cut in chunks
-1/2 a small watermelon, cut in chunks
-1 c sugar
-1 c water
-1 large bunch basil, minced
-juice of 2 limes

->Heat the sugar and water over medium heat in a small sauce pan until sugar is fully dissolved. 

Meanwhile, run tomatoes and melon through a food mill in order to get the pulp and juice but leave behind the skins and seeds.  If you don't have a food mill, you could use a food processor, just be sure to remove any large seeds of the watermelon and/or tough stem areas of the tomato.  

When sugar is fully dissolved in the water, remove from heat and add basil to steep.  After steeping for 5 minutes, add mixture to tomato-watermelon mixture and then add lime juice.

At this point, you should chill the mixture in the freezer until ice just starts to form around the edges (or around 8 degrees Celsius).  Then, if you have an ice cream maker, pour it in and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  

Serve by scooping some with an ice cream scoop, perhaps into martini glasses?  Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil.

~*TIP:  If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow pan and place in the freezer.  Whisk the mixture every 30 minutes or so to break up the ice crystals until it is too thick to whisk, then allow to freeze.  Scoop once frozen mostly solid but still soft enough to easily scoop.  *~

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