Sicilian Watermelon Pudding (Gelo di Melone)
This sweet, cooling dessert is popular in the Sicilian capital, Palermo.
Yield: serves 6
- 1 (3-lb.) piece seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1" chunks
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, to garnish
- Roughly chopped pistachios, to garnish
- Diced candied citron, to garnish, optional
- Grated semisweet chocolate, to garnish
- Ground cinnamon, to garnish
- Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender or food processor until liquefied. Set aside.
- Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. While whisking, drizzle in pureed watermelon. Bring the watermelon mixture to a boil over medium heat, while stirring constantly and scraping bottom with a wooden spoon. Boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, push and scrape the watermelon mixture through a fine sieve into a 2-quart bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. To serve, spoon the pudding between 6 small serving bowls and garnish with whipped cream, pistachios, citron (if using), and chocolate. Dust with the cinnamon.