Tip Top Melon Sherbet Recipe

This melon sherbet recipe is all-natural, and refreshing. The addition of honey gives it a richness and depth of flavor that you don't normally get when you use refined white sugar.

Tip Top Melon Sherbet

My dad showed up to brunch at my house on Saturday morning with a 50-pound commercial gelato maker in tow. My sister showed up with a 5-pound Bernese Mountain puppy. I supplied the crepes and they supplied the entertainment (peeing puppies) and living-room product demonstrations.

My dad purchased the "Simac Il Gelataio Electric Ice Cream Man Maker" off eBay. He said he paid $123 plus $35 dollars shipping. To call this a countertop ice cream maker would be a stretch to say the least. It has the footprint of a medium sized microwave oven. The slightly beige plastic indicated to me that this might be an older model, and the knobs look like something off a child's toy. I stopped making fun of him after I took a bite of his rum-raisin gelato. Record scratch. This was some of the richest, creamiest gelato I've ever had. He whipped up his base ingredients at home and shuttled them to my place gingerly placed in an igloo cooler box - the rum soaked raisins bathed in their own little container for the ride into the city.

I told my dad I would send him more freezer-friendly recipes to keep the Simac dust-free. This one was inspired by a trip to the Marin/San Rafael Farmer's market on Sunday where I tracked down two beautifully ripe and sweet orange-fleshed melons. I asked the farmer to give me melons that were just on the verge of being overly ripe - with the hope that they would be perfect for making sherbet. With melons like these I always let my nose tell me which one to take home, they should be intoxicatingly aromatic. I opened my favorite melon book, and tried to decipher exactly what I had. While any juicy orange or green-fleshed melon will work with this recipe, based on the distinctly ribbed rind, and sporadic netting, it looks like I had two Tip Tops - known for their juicy, sweet flavor and flesh that is edible nearly all the way to the rind. This sherbet is all-natural, and refreshing - the addition of honey gives it a richness and depth of flavor that you don't normally get when you use refined white sugar.

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Tip Top Melon Sherbet Recipe

1 pound of juicy, extra-ripe, orange-fleshed melon
1/4 cup mild flavored honey (needs to be fluid, and you might use a bit less depending on the sweetness of the melon)
1/2 cup organic whole milk
generous pinch of salt

Cut the melon flesh from its rind into a medium bowl and puree with a hand blender. You will need 2 cups of puree.

Add the milk, and salt. Now you want to sweeten to taste. If your honey is in a solid or crystallized state you need to dunk the jar in a bowl of warm water until it is liquid again. This way it will mix easily with the rest of the ingredients. Start by blending in 2T. of the honey and taste. If you think the mixture needs to be sweeter, add more honey. Keep in mind you want the honey to bring out and complement the flavor of the melon, not overpower it.

Pour into an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Summer Coolers in Iloilo City , Philippines
This melon sherbet must be a universal summer cooler because this is what my mother is giving us especially in the summer season the difference is that the melon is first grated mix with milk and sugar and put in the ice tray to freeze or else she will do this with avocado but she mashed the avocado first mixed with milk and sugar and freeze. That’s it you get delicious taste of melon/ avocado and cools you too.

joyce sattari

Thanks to you, I just bought an icecream maker on ebay. My local organic melon is not at that perfectly ripe stage yet, so I’m making lime-mint sorbet…we’ll see how it turns out.


Ooooh. I’m so excited. I just found an enormous canteloupe in my organics delivery box. And a friend of mine is giving me her ice cream maker today! Once again, perfect timing with your site.


Hi Heidi, just to say i love the new look of your site. It’s very impressive and looks amazing. I like the forums too. Can’t wait to participate.


I loved this recipe. I made it right after dinner tonight using a lovely, fragrant, Chino Farms French melon and some local honey.
Keeping in mind what you said about the honey, I added 1 T. at a time until I ended up with about 4 T. (or 1/4 c.), just as you indicated. Usually I don’t like honey in desserts because it is so strong-tasting, but this was exceptional. Very light and delicate.


Well! Your dad rocks.
Very cool.


What a beautiful photo and what a great story…I can actually taste this yummy dessert, just reading this! Your site rocks Heidi, love to see what’s new.
Cheers from Canada!


Oh Heidi, it always makes me happy to read your posts! And I’m off to search ebay now for an icecream maker.
(I have just realised that in fact I own an icecream maker. It must be somewhere around here!)


Hi Heidi – the combo of honey and melon sounds intriguing, I must try when I find good melons. I’m jealous that your father got the Simac for that price, mine (Gaggia Gelatiera) was a wedding present and it makes really good ice-cream too. Thank you for the beautiful post as always, any chance we can see the lovely puppy…?


I have one of these and have not used it in a long time. They are heavy to carry but oh – what wonderful treats they churn out. Must get mine out.


I was wondering if you thought this might work with Honeydew?! I’ve had an overexuberant vine, and given what i can away, leaving a few almost overripe melons. I’ve been hoping to find a nice sherbert recipe to work on these beauties! Thanks for answering that unvoiced call!
Love your site! THanks!!


I like the name — tip top. In French slang, it kind of means good like “this melon was tip top” 🙂


This puppy was all self contained. Compressor and all…Simac II


Oh wow! I had cantaloupe gelato in Italy, and it was amazing. It tasted more like cantaloupe than cantaloupe does, if you know what I mean. I almost recreated it once. Mine wasn’t quite as creamy, though; I just have one of the little Cuisinart ice cream makers.
I am curious for more details/photos of your dad’s ice cream maker. Is it one with an internal cooling unit? I have been so tempted by those things on eBay…


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