Estimated Times: Preparation Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 8 mins
2 cups sugar 2 cups water 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot 4 pounds cantaloupes (see note)
In a small heavy saucepan, cook sugar, water and gingerroot over low heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Increase heat, bringing syrup to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool completely; strain out gingerroot.
Seed cantaloupes, scoop out and roughly chop flesh. Purée in food processor or blender until very smooth. Stir into ginger syrup and transfer to an ice cream maker; process according to the manufacturer's directions.
If not using a ice cream maker; pour into an 9x9x2-inch pan and freeze until just firm, about 45 minutes. Stir to break up lumps and return to freezer. After another 30 minutes or so, when mixture is starting to set up again, stir or whisk until light and airy; spoon into a storage container and freeze until firm.
NOTE: Melons, squash and cucumbers -- all of which ripen while lying on the ground - can be exposed to salmonella and e. coli bacteria. As a precaution, they should be washed with soap and hot water, then rinsed before proceeding with any recipe. This applies even if you are only using the flesh of the melon (or squash or cucumber); the mere act of cutting through the rind is enough to bring harmful bacteria in contact with the flesh.