Cucina Conversations: Gelo di Mellone (Watermelon Jelly)

gelo-di-anguria

It’s incredible, but we are at the turning point of this 2017 and we are hitting already the tenth edition of Cucina Conversations, the roundtable about Italian food I’m sharing with other six fellow foodbloggers. 

Each of us lives in a different part of the world and the choice of the month’s topic has to consider the seasonalities of our areas. This June’s topic is drinks, a subject that is perfect on these days of heat and humidity in Italy, but also suitable for Carmen from The Heirloom Chronicles who lives Down Under and she’s approaching wintertime. 

Each of us have interpreted the theme and in our posts you will find summery and all-year-around drinks – a Pimm’s, a Gamba di Legno (an Italian cocktail I’ve never hear before), a fresh Prosecco with watermelon juice and a Sicilian caffè freddo – and a couple of recipes where ‘liquids’ are the hero ingredient. Carmen prepared a scrumptious semifreddo al vin cotto, using the vino cotto (cooked must) her father produces himself from Shiraz grapes; while I chose to prepare a simple and light gelo di mellone.

The name of this dessert apparently suggests the presence of melon, but it is instead all about watermelon. That’s because in Sicily they call watermelon muluni, and this is wrongly italianized with mellone (the proper Italian name would be anguria).

It is usually prepared around ferragosto, the fifteenth of August which is bank holiday in Italy, when watermelon is in full season and it is sweeter and tastier. I’m not a big fan of jellies, but I really appreciated this one. It is incredibly quick and easy to make, it is a light and refreshing dessert, perfect to end a summer dinner. Many people add some chocolate chips inside the mixture, that both marry well with watermelon and recall with their colour and shape the watermelon seeds.

gelo-di-anguria

GELO DI MELLONE – WATERMELON JELLY

Ingredients for 5 portions
1 kg of watermelon
75 g of sugar
60 g of corn starch

1.Remove the skin and cut the watermelon into pieces. Using a vegetable mill, press each piece of fruit. You will end up with about 750 g of watermelon juice, and the seeds will be separated.

2.Add the sugar and mix well. Then in a pan combine the corn starch with a spoonful of watermelon juice. Cook over medium heat for some minutes, paying attention to keep it smooth with no clumps.

3.Add the remaining juice and continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture will thicken. It will take about 10 minutes.

4.Divide the jelly mixture in cocottes and let it cool down. Then place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, then serve with a sprinkle of pistachio pieces.

Enjoy!

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Gelo di Anguria (Watermelon Jelly)
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