Gelato di Cocomero

Sicilian Watermelon Ice


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Nowhere in the world will you taste ice creams and water ices quite like those produced in Sicily, and the following recipe, with its intense perfume and flavour, is a superb example. Do make sure you use a really sweet, ripe watermelon; in Sicily their perfume wafts on the breeze throughout the summer.


  • 500 g/1 ¼ lb watermelon, seeded and skinned
  • 275 g/10 oz/1 ¼ cups caster/superfine sugar
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp jasmine flower water or 10 ml/2 tsp orange blossom water
  • 115 g/4 oz dark/bittersweet chocolate, diced
  • 40 g/1 ½ oz/3 tbsp hulled and skinned pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 115 g/4 oz/ cup candied pumpkin, diced
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Press the watermelon through a sieve or strainer into a bowl.

  2. Add half the sugar and stir until dissolved, then mix in the jasmine flower or orange blossom water.

  3. Scrape the mixture into a mould or freezerproof bowl and freeze it, stirring vigorously with a fork every 10 minutes or so to break up the ice crystals.

  4. When the mixture is thick and slushy, stir in the remaining sugar, then the chocolate, nuts, pumpkin and cinnamon.
  5. Return the mould or bowl to the freezer and continue to freeze until the mixture is solid, stirring occasionally.
  6. To serve, dip the mould briefly into hot water to loosen the edges. Spoon into serving dishes.