Sicilian watermelon pudding (Gelo di melone) {vegan + gluten free}

Marta's Plants - Sicilian watermelon pudding (Gelo di melone) {vegan + gluten free}

(cliccate qui per la versione italiana)

Happy Monday!

“Gelo” is short for “gelatina”, which means “jelly”. However, I firmly believe this is a pudding! It’s very creamy rather than “gelatinous”. It’s a typical Sicilian dessert, especially in Palermo where it’s the traditional dessert for Santa Rosalia, the patron saint, who is celebrated with a huge procession every 14th of July.

This watermelon pudding is now one of my top favorite sweet dishes. The first time I tried it, when I was little, I almost threw up. I think I loved fresh watermelon so much that I couldn’t accept it in this cooked version (btw – it’s eaten cold so it doesn’t feel “cooked” at all!) and I hated the creamy texture, too. I’m so glad I’ve changed my mind ever since. It’s really delicious.

Not to mention – it’s super easy and quick to prepare. Make a large batch and surprise all your guests!

 Marta's Plants - Sicilian watermelon pudding (Gelo di melone) {vegan + gluten free} Marta's Plants - Sicilian watermelon pudding (Gelo di melone) {vegan + gluten free}

SICILIAN WATERMELON PUDDING (GELO DI MELONE) {vegan + gluten free}
by Marta Giaccone

Recipe
serves 3 (medium) or 4 (small)
prep time: 10 mins, cook time: 15 mins, total: 25 mins + cooling/fridge time

 

1 cup / 500 ml of watermelon juice (about 600 gr of watermelon pulp, seeded and cubed)
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp / 50 gr corn starch (or other starch)
about ¼ cup / 40 gr sugar (I used brown sugar)
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
vanilla
a handful pistachios (unsalted)
a square of dark chocolate
optional: a handful of jasmine flowers or jasmine essence

Marta's Plants - Sicilian watermelon pudding (Gelo di melone) {vegan + gluten free}

Method

  1. Purée the watermelon, then filter it (I used a tea strainer, it took a few minutes). Or if you have a juicer you’re all set. Set aside for a second.
  2. Optional: if using jasmine flowers, steep them in a little bit of the juice for about 1 hour, then discard flowers.
  3. Add the starch to a small/medium pot, then very gradually add the watermelon juice and stir to incorporate. When a thick paste forms, you can add the rest of the juice. If you add too much juice at once it will get really clumpy!
  4. Add the sugar, a little bit of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and 1 drop jasmine essence, and stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Set pot on a medium flame and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Let cool for about 30 minutes, transfer to 3-4 small glasses/jars/etc, cover with plastic wrap and let firm up in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  7. Serve cold with a little dash of cinnamon, some chopped pistachios, grated dark chocolate and more jasmine flowers for decoration.

Marta's Plants - Sicilian watermelon pudding (Gelo di melone) {vegan + gluten free}



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