Do you know what the “gelo di mellone” is? It’s the name of a very traditional summer pudding that is made ONLY in Palermo and its province. Mellone in Italian is a generic word to mean melon, but this dessert is actually made only with watermelon and has a delicate and delicious fresh taste.
We like to eat it plain, just as a pudding but we also use it as filling in the pie, to have a more important dessert! You find it in all the patisseries of the Sicilian capital in summertime and you can also see the single-portions (mini-pies) as well as the big pie.
Ingredients & preparation for 10-12 people:
1 lt fresh watermelon juice
100 gr. starch
200 gr. sugar
50-60 gr. dark chocolate chips
a glass of jasmine water
*pistaches and cookies to serve (but not essential)
Before starting to prepare the “gelo” you need a couple of jasmine flowers. Wash them and leave them in water for 24 hours.
Now you are ready to start:
1. Cut the watermelon and put the pieces in a blender, having removed the green hard parts and the seeds. Blend until it becomes all liquid.
2. To strain the juice and remove the solid little parts we usually use a kitchen tool similar to the one we use to press the tomatoes for the sauce, it’s also similar to a colander, but bigger, like the one in the pic below. When you have finished to strain the juice you can measure how much of that you’ve got. Usually a quarter of a big watermelon should be around 1 liter.
3. In a sauce pan mix the starch and the sugar, then, when you have obtained the proper amount of juice pour it little by little, stirring constantly with a spoon or a whip. When the ingredients are all melted together place the sauce pan under a low heat.
4. Add the jasmine water and gently keep stirring until the liquid starts to boil and become as consistent as a pudding. As soon as it is quite solid (few minutes) turn off the heat and place it in little bowls for single portions or in a large mold or tin instead.
5. Let it cool down and after at least 40-45 minutes, if it is not warm anymore, put the chocolate chips on top and if you like also some pistaches as the one shown in the big picture above.
6. Place in the fridge at least two hours before serving it. Then, to finish up the decoration in the best possible way just stick two wonderful cookies or other kind of biscuits you like to accompany the pudding and you will enjoy it so much that you are definetely going to make it every single season!
Happy & sweet Summer everybody 🙂