What To Do With Cantaloupe That Is Not Sweet Turn Ripe Cantaloupe Into an Easy, Refreshing Sorbet

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Prep:
15 mins

Cook:
10 mins

Chill and Churn:
72 mins

Total:
97 mins

Servings:
6
to 8 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
174 Calories
0g Fat
44g Carbs
2g Protein

Show Full Nutrition Label

×

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 174
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 38mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 43g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 83mg 416%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 606mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Puréed cantaloupe that has been frozen has a remarkably creamy texture that almost tastes like ice cream.

Even with perfectly ripe fruit, you’ll need to add a bit of sugar, both to sweeten the fruit (frozen things taste less sweet than they would at room temperature) and to make the texture like sorbet instead of like an ice cube. But the real point of this recipe is to bring out as much of the natural cantaloupe flavor as possible.

No cantaloupe? No problem! Use any melon you like, although less-sweet melons might require more sugar syrup.

While this recipe uses an ice cream maker to finish the sorbet, we have provided a tip below on how to make another version (granita), if you don’t have one.

“Making this sorbet was quite easy. I added half the simple syrup mixture to the pureed fruit; I think it made it a little too sweet. Next time I won’t add any simple syrup, especially if using a super ripe melon. This was a lot of fun, and the kids really enjoyed it.” —Carrie Parente

Cantaloupe Sorbet Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 large cantaloupe, or Crenshaw melon, about 4 pounds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cantaloupe sorbet ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  2. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil.

    Sugar and water in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  3. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until it thickens slightly—about 10 minutes.

    Simple syrup in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  4. Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature.

    Simple syrup cooling in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  5. While the sugar syrup cools, peel, seed, and cut the melon into cubes: Cut off the ends of the melon and set it upright (one of the cut sides down) on a cutting board.

    Cantaloupe with the top and bottom removed

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  6. Remove the peel by cutting down along the sides all the way around.

    Cantaloupe peel removed

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  7. Cut the melon in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and cut the melon into cubes.

    Cantaloupe cut into cubes

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  8. Transfer the melon to a blender or a food processor and blend until completely smooth and pureed. If needed, use a little bit of the cooled simple syrup to help blend the fruit. You will likely have to do this in batches, being sure to thoroughly purée each batch. Transfer each batch to the same large bowl.

    Blended cantaloupe in a bowl; cantaloupe pieces in a blender

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  9. Add about a third of the cooled sugar syrup to the puréed melon. Taste. It should be a bit sweeter than you want the final sorbet. Add more sugar syrup, a little at a time, until slightly oversweet.

    Cantaloupe puree mixed with simple syrup

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  10. Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Chilling the mixture before freezing it will help ensure the final sorbet has the creamiest texture possible, so don’t skip this step if you can avoid it.

    Cantaloupe mixture in a bowl covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  11. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Cantaloupe sorbet in an ice cream machine

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


Tip

  • No ice cream maker? No worries. Make granita instead. Pour the chilled mixture into a metal baking pan and freeze, stirring every 30 to 60 minutes, until it’s frozen through. Be sure to scrape the icy bits from the sides of the pan into the center. This technique results in a refreshing ice that is not creamy. How long this will take will depend on your freezer.

Recipe Variations

This recipe works well with any melon, really, including honeydew and watermelon, but the key to a great-tasting end product is using melon that is ripe and flavorful. If it’s not naturally sweet, adding more sugar syrup will take care of that problem.

  • To make an orange-cantaloupe sorbet, add 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, and an optional 1 tablespoon of Cointreau, triple sec, or other orange-flavored liqueur to the blender with the melon and continue with the recipe. Serve the sorbet in scooped-out orange halves and garnish with orange rind.
  • For a refreshing honeydew-lime sorbet, add 1/4 cup sweetened lime juice (like Rose’s) and an optional 1 tablespoon of Midori liqueur. Serve it with lime zest or sprigs of fresh mint if desired.
  • Replace the cantaloupe with watermelon and add 1/4 cup pomegranate juice and an optional 1 tablespoon of grenadine. If you like, serve a scoop of this watermelon-pomegranate sorbet with a few fresh pomegranate arils.

Can You Freeze Cantaloupe?

Cantaloupe is a great melon to freeze. Simply cut in cubes, freeze, and put in a freezer-safe plastic bag or airtight container. You can also puree cantaloupe, and first freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer over into freezer bags. Either way, properly label it and make sure to eat within nine to 12 months.

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