Intro: Fruity Sicilian Watermelon Gelo (Pudding)
I love watermelon and I could eat it all day, but I also adore jiggly desserts so when I heard about watermelon gelo, I had to try it! It's easy to make and absolutely yummilicious! It's also vegan, gluten free, pretty healthy, and super refreshing... ahhhh!
*Please note it is more like a dense pudding than jello =)
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools
About 9 cups of seedless watermelon chunks (you will need 4 cups once it is puréed)
3 tbsp sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, or other sweetener (but please don't use the artificial stuff!)
6 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
Blender or food processor
Large fine mesh sieve (or cheesecloth)
Rubber heatproof spatula and/or wooden spoon
Optional garnishes -- get creative!
Roughly chopped pistachios, almonds, or other nuts
Grated semisweet chocolate
Chopped up oreo cookies
Step 2: Pur�e the Watermelon
Cut the watermelon up into small chunks and purée it in a blender or food processor until liquefied. If necessary, use a tamper to push the watermelon chunks down to be processed.
Step 3: Strain and Simmer
Place a large fine mesh sieve (or cheesecloth) on top of your saucepan and using a rubber spatula, push and scrape the watermelon purée through the sieve.
Bring the purée to a simmer over medium heat. Make sure you stir the mixture frequently and use your spatula or spoon to scrape the bottom to prevent scorching.
Step 4: Add More Stuff
The mixture should have thickened by now, so spoon a small amount of the simmering liquid (about a third of a cup) into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch. The mixture will turn a pinkish color once it has been incorporated.
Then add the sugar to the mixture and mix well.
Once there are no lumps, pour the mixture into the pot with the purée and stir well.
You may now turn off the heat and mix in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Step 5: Pour and Set
Now you get to decide how you want the gelo to look when it's set. You can pour the entire mixture into a mold, a bowl, rectangular pan, or do what I did and use a few margarita glasses! (I was making them for a brunch for some girlfriends.)
Cover whatever vessel you've chosen tightly with plastic saran wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
Step 6: Serving the Gelo
To serve, just remove the plastic wrap and you're ready to go!
If you put the gelo into a large container, you'll need to spoon the pudding into smaller serving bowls (or just grab a large spoon and dig in!). It's so tasty all by itself, but you can also garnish it with whipped cream, chopped nuts, more cinnamon, shaved chocolate, etc.
Hope you enjoy this wonderful and *healthy-ish* treat!!
Step 7: Alternate Topping: Faux Creme Anglaise
I had hoped to make whipped cream, but all I had in the fridge was Irish creme half and half, so I decided to whip that a bit and use it as a sort of faux creme anglaise. Since it was already flavored, I did not need to add additional sugar, vanilla extract, or anything. After whipping it for a bit, I poured the sweet goodness over the gelo and topped it with some chopped nuts. Everyone loved it!!