A unique, good tasting, somewhat exotic dessert. Called "Gelo di Melone" if you use all the ingredients, a summer treat in Sicily. In making this the first time, I imagined soaking sliced sponge layers to make a true watermelon cake; or using this instead of raspberry jam in a trifle. This recipe is paraphrased (with apologies) from Nick Malgieri's book: Great Italian Desserts.
- 5 cups fresh watermelon juice, from about 3 lbs. of watermelon (including foam)
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons blanched pistachios, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1⁄2 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated (about 2 tbs) (optional)
- 3 tablespoons candied citron peel, rinsed and chopped (optional)
- Prepare watermelon juice by scooping the meat and removing the seeds; liquefy in blender or food processor (I make extra to chill and drink).
- Stir sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan; add about half the juice stirring until thoroughly combined, then add the rest.
- Cook over moderate heat; stir, scraping the bottom with a wide spatula, occasionally at first, then constantly as it begins to thicken.
- Reduce heat to low when the mixture begins to bubble and continue stirring for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour into a bowl, stirring occasionally, until it reaches room temperature then stir in the vanilla.
- Add the optional ingredients if desired and pour into individual serving cups or a serving dish.
- Chill well before serving (it will thicken to a consistency like Jello as it chills) and serve with whipped cream or cookies if desired.
- If using as a sauce, thin if necessary to the consistency desired with additional watermelon juice.
Just like my uncles in Brooklyn used to make. I'd give it 10 stars if I could! We throw in semi-sweet chips to look like seeds, and serve it in the watermelon rind. Pictures forthcoming. Once again, thank you! A real treat. :)