This recipe takes a little bit of effort and an ice cream maker, but we assure you that the creamy luscious flavor is worth every minute. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, we’ve included an alternative method that takes a little time and bicep strength, but you’ll get the same result.
Roasting the cantaloupe is an important step, as it caramelizes the sugars for a richer, more complex flavor, and it reduces some of the water content so you don’t have a loose, icy ice cream. We’re going for smooth creaminess here. Be generous with your salt, as it brings out the flavor of the melon. The result is a mellow not-too-sweet caramelized flavor with a suggestion of cantaloupe. Plus, the ice cream is a lovely shade of pale peach. We love this so much that we recommend doubling the recipe. It disappears pretty quickly.
Makes about 1 pint
1 tablespoon raw sugar (less if your cantaloupe is already very sweet)
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 egg yolks
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Food processor, ice cream maker or hand mixer
Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
De-seed your cantaloupe, cut into slices, remove the rind and then roughly chop. Place the cantaloupe pieces on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with the raw sugar and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Roast the cantaloupe for 20 minutes or until sugars have caramelized. Let sit until cool enough to handle, then blend in a food processor until smooth.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine heavy cream, milk and processed cantaloupe. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, vigorously whisk together sugar, a generous pinch of salt and egg yolks until yolks are pale yellow and sugar has dissolved. Whisk about half a cup of the cream mixture into the bowl with the yolks, then pour the yolk-cream mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Strain custard through a mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Refrigerate until chilled. Process in an ice cream maker per machine instructions. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour your cooled custard into a 9-by-13–inch baking dish. Place in your freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and blend mixture using a hand mixture. Return to freezer, repeating the chilling and blending process for about four hours until smooth and frozen.) Transfer ice cream into a container and press a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface. Freeze until firm.