Today, for my Regional Italian dish series, I am going to take you all back to Sicily with the perfect summer recipe. I know, I know… it’s winter down here and it’s also been quite cold lately, but my family and friends are enjoying summer in Europe, so I thought of publishing this today. I made this ice cream for my dad when my parents were visiting from Italy last Christmas… watermelon is my father’s favourite ice cream flavour. It is a typical recipe from Palermo, so it is something he grew up eating and he always buys it when we eat ice cream outside. I looked everywhere for an authentic recipe and I found one that is pretty close to the ice cream you would buy in a gelateria in Palermo. The thing is, the majority of the recipes I came across, were more like sorbets, while the “original” gelato is creamy, like a milk based ice cream. I discovered that to obtain such creaminess without using milk or cream (or a custard base) you need to use an ice cream stabiliser. You should be able to find it easily, both at the stores or online. What I love about this ice cream is the hint of cinnamon and, obviously, the crunch and slight bitterness of the chocolate that perfectly contrasts with the sweetness of the watermelon. It is a really refreshing flavour! Perfect for summer! As for me, I will keep dreaming of warmer weather, so I will be able to make this again. Enjoy!
- Heat up the water and the cinnamon stick. Bring it to a boil, put the fire off and let it infuse for 30 minutes.
- Cut the watermelon and blend it with a hand mixer. Sieve the juice and measure 900 ml – 30 oz. Keep it aside.
- Remove the cinnamon stick from the water and mix the infused water with the watermelon juice.
- Mix the neutro and sugar and add them to the juice mixture. Mix well.
- Add the liquid glucose and blend everything with the hand mixer to make sure everything is well combined.
- Chill for 30 minutes, then churn in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the chocolate chips.
- Transfer into a container and freeze for a few hours before serving.