For a long time I have been a huge fan of Victoria Magazine. Call me an old fashioned romantic, I don't care. I have a connection to that time period that is inexplicable. Since I first saw the magazine all those years ago when I was in high school, I have loved it. When it disappeared, I was devastated. To my shock the magazine reappeared in the last couple of years and I have been buying it ever since.
In fact when I first came across the magazine it was way before I knew anything about food. I would look at their stunning photos of delicious treats made with herbs and sometimes edible flowers and think to myself, I could never make that! It is too special, too perfect. Even now I find myself intimidated by even the most simple recipes in the magazine. Well, no more! I choose an easy frozen dessert anyone with a food processor could make. Let the meltdown begin!
The recipe begins with a thick simple syrup. Put two cups of sugar and one cup of water into a medium to large saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer for five minutes. I did this the day before so the syrup will be cooled off and ready to go.
After I made the syrup it took me days to find the time to process the cantaloupe. My vacation was pure insanity. Finally when I had a moment to breathe I got a small to medium cantaloupe (around six cups), cut it in half and scooped out the seeds. Then with a sharp knife I sliced it into wedges, removed the skin, cut into cubes and put it through my food processor for quite a long time.
I strained all the pulp, letting it drain for quite a while and then with a spatula press and pressed the cantaloupe until I got every little last bit of juice. This is a bit time consuming but you want your money's worth!
This is where I want to cry. You are supposed to add the homemade simple syrup with 1 cup of light syrup and just 1/4 tsp of salt. I was so tired I was working on autopilot and used regular corn syrup. What happened? That beautiful peach colour completely disappeared and looked like iced tea instead. I felt sick! Absolutely sick to my stomach. I &*$#@ it up royally!
Yes, it was still perfectly edible and probably delicious but the first time in my foodie life, I cared about how the food looked. I was so disgusted and upset I put it in my fridge and could not bear to look at it. For days. And days... Then I started to worry if it was still edible? That got me all freaked out so... I am ashamed to say, I dumped it down the drain. If I could not get it right, I was not going to do it at all.
So I went to the store and bought the right ingredient, white corn syrup. I came home with the syrup and another cantaloupe (this time a BIG one) and a bag of sugar. Life got crazy again. Time went by... and went by... A week passed and I woke up one morning determined to make it again. I made the simple syrup and let it. I processed and sieved the cantaloupe and then I hunted for the corn syrup. I looked everywhere. It was nowhere to be found! And I mean, nowhere. Once again, I wanted to cry. This is ridiculous! I run out to the store AGAIN and buy another bottle, totally determined. Nothing was going to stand in my way.
So there is the light corn syrup triumphantly going into my cantaloupe juice. I added the simple syrup and the 1/2 tsp of salt. FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything still needed to chill in the fridge for a few hours. No worries.
Into the ice cream maker it goes! And, I realize I have too much. My ice cream maker is not big enough. So I put the syrup in the freezer, one day I will let it thaw and make some more. For those without an ice cream maker, you could totally turn this recipe into a granita. Just put it in a long and flat dish and then into the freezer. Every 40 minutes or so use a fork to scrape along the juice and turn it into an iced treat. If you do not like cantaloupe, try making this with honeydew or watermelon instead!
Took two weeks for me to make this treat. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Look at the colour! That is what I wanted. Truly, a feast for the eyes. Was it worth all the frustration? Absolutely! In fact after the first bite I spontaneous cried out, "It's a dream!" The essence of cantaloupe is in every bite. It tastes like summer.
Despite the challenges, which were all my own fault, I give this recipe five out of five wooden spoons. It is perfect. It is beautiful to look at and to eat. Light, summery and stunning in every way, this is one of the best dishes I have made in a long time. It gets my foodie stamp of approval.
Victoria Magazine, you did not let me down. All the screw ups were my own and the sorbet was perfection, just like I was hoping it would be. It really is a simple and straightforward recipe that tastes like a dream come true. This has given me the confidence to try even more of your recipes.
My romantic connection to food really started with this magazine, I owe it a lot. I hope it stays around for a long, long time.