Sicilian Watermelon Gelo (Pudding)

July 7, 2011

Watermelons are piled high wherever you look. These heavy-as-boulder ones come from nearby Pachino, a town famous for its ruby-red tomatoes.

Watermelon truck in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Watermelon used to bore me, conjuring up corporate picnics, American flags, and pig-out contests.

But I like it the Sicilian way–as gelo. It’s simple and fast.


1. Roughly cut up a 3-pound watermelon (seedless, unless you want to pick out seeds one by one as I did) and discard the rind. Puree the chunks until liquified. (I have no blender–I’m trying to live a minimalist life–so I smooshed the chunks with my fists.)

Slice of Sicilian Watermelon, copyright Jann Huizenga

2. Whisk 2/3 cups sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch in a non-reactive pan. Whisk in the pureed watermelon. (OPTIONAL: Add jasmine flowers.) Bring the mix to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will take only a few minutes to thicken and bubble.

Making Sicilian Watermelon Gelo, copyright Jann Huizenga

3. Remove from the heat and stir in a teaspoon of vanilla. With a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. You can leave it in the big bowl, or spoon it out into individual serving bowls, as I did. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.

Making Sicilian Watermelon Gelo, copyright Jann Huizenga

4. To serve, garnish with some or all of the following: grated dark chocolate, ground cinnamon, chopped pistachios, jasmine flowers. Serve with whipped cream if you like the calories.

Sicilian Watermelon Gelo (Pudding), copyright Jann Huizenga

This recipe was adapted from Saveur. Hope you enjoy it!


Click to subscribe to BaroqueSicily.

24 comments to Sicilian Watermelon Gelo (Pudding)

  • mmmm, definitely trying this one! What do you do for vanilla? I’ve never found decent vanilla extract here…

    • Jann

      Haley, I bring my own from the US–yes, they have only those odd little packets of powdered vanilla here-ugh! odd for a country so obsessed with good ingredients.

  • Margo

    Yum!! I get you could do the same thing with the wonderful variety of melons that I am enjoying in Spain right now? I love the photos; they are lickable.

    • Jann

      Tee hee, Margo: “lickable photos!” That’s a great phrase. Glad you’re enjoying Spain and its melons and all the rest.

  • Not being a fan of watermelon, this is the first time I’ve seen/read something that actually looks/sounds good to me. Great pics (as usual) and easy-to-follow- instructions. Thanks for sharing, as always!

  • Sam

    And visually, they look irresistible! If these were displayed in a restaurant, they would sell out in no time.

    • Jann

      Oh, then I must open a restaurant! Do you think I could make more money selling watermelon pudding that I do writing?

  • Jann, having been a fan of watermelon for as long as I can remember, I was quite impressed with this beautiful watermelon pudding. I had no idea watermelon could even be made into a pudding! If it’s as delicious as it looks, I would love to try it! Wonderful shots as always, friend!

  • I’ll trade you a slice of chocolate pear torte for a cup of watermelon gelo.

  • Cathy

    Sounds good, I will have to give it a try! Very similar to the Gelo di Limone recipe you posted another time – haven’t tried it yet either but plan to! Actually I think I will try it tonight since I have a lemon sitting here with nothing to do and is beginning to look wilted in the heat…

    • Jann

      Yes, Cathy–very similar. Now don’t use too wilted a lemon for the Gelo di Limone or it might taste sad.

  • Michelle Relae


  • Oh, I can taste it from here! Beautiful post, as usual.

  • This definitely sounds worth trying! Though I have nothing against good old watermelon as is. My daughter also has an interesting watermelon recipe which involves mashing up the pulp and adding gin. An adult slushie!

    • Cathy

      Louciao, I believe you are also in Atlantic Canada, from reading your other posts on here? I have heard of the watermelon ‘slushies’ too 🙂 I’m a beer & wine kind of gal so have never tried it… (I’m in NB)

      Cheers! 🙂

    • Jann

      Cathy, if louciao doesn’t see your question, I’ll butt in and answer for her. Take a look at her lovely blog and you’ll see she has “moved to a rural village, Atlantic coast, Canada”

    • Jann

      OMG–that sounds like serious summertime fun.

    • Cathy

      Thanks Jann! I will check it out..

      PS — no worries, I didn’t even get around to using up my somewhat withered lemon and it is heading to the compost heap.. Good news is I bought a few more!! Now to use them before they come to the same fate. I’m thinking since the lemons are a reasonable price right about now that its time to get some limoncello on the go… 🙂

    • Jann

      Mmmmm! Have you made limoncello before, Cathy??? I’d love to try it someday.

Site Meter - La directory italiana dei blog