Monday, 19 September 2016

Watermelon Jelly & Sicilian Watermelon Pudding

You are not particularly supposed to eat these together! They are two separate things. I was just in compare and contrast mode. We liked them both very much and they were surprisingly different from each other, even though the ingredients and techniques bear a certain resemblance.

Watermelon Jelly

This is your straightforward standard fruit juice jelly; the sugar and lemon or lime juice brighten it and the jelly gives it a different texture, but you know you are eating watermelon. I think it would be fun to cube it up and toss it with some cubes of watermelon.

I didn't think it was all that foamy, but it did settle into 2 layers as it set. Which didn't bother me particularly. 

makes 4 servings
10 minutes prep time plus 2 hours to set

Watermelon Jelly

2 cups puréed watermelon, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated gelatine

Cut the watermelon from the rind, and pick out the seeds. Purée it in a food processor or blender, and measure 2 cups. Put one cup of the purée into a small pot with the sugar and heat it until the sugar is dissolved and the purée is just on the edge of boiling.

Meanwhile, add the lemon or lime juice to the remaining purée and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Stir in the hot purée when it is ready, stirring carefully to make sure the gelatine is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a mold and chill until set; at least 2 hours to overnight.

To unmold, dip the mold into a bowl or pot of warm (tap) water for a few seconds, being careful not to get any water on the surface of the jelly. Shake it a little and when it shows signs of loosening, put a plate over it and flip it over. If you can, it's nice to set it back in the fridge for a few minutes so it can regain its composure. 

Sicilian Watermelon Pudding (Gelo di Anguria)

I first saw this recipe at Epicurious, although I used basically the version from Food 52 as it looked better. Even so, I cut the sugar way back as usual, and didn't miss it.

I don't use cornstarch very much, but I was sure I had a big jar of it in the back of the cupboard. I'm still convinced I have a big jar of it in the back of the cupboard, but when I went to make this, could I find it? No, of course not. So I ended up using what I usually use when a recipe calls for cornstarch; I used arrowroot. It worked, as far as I'm concerned, just fine, although I can't confirm that it is quite the same as the original cornstarch. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a little boingier, in fact; but I like boingy just fine so no problem. It also unmolded beautifully, which I really wasn't expecting. It did sit in the fridge for a couple of days until I got around to it so that might have helped.

makes 4 servings
15 minutes prep time plus 2 hours to set

Sicilian Watermelon Pudding (Gelo di Anguria)

2 cups strained watermelon purée
1/3 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
a little chocolate to grate over the top

1/2 cup whipping cream(optional)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

Cut the watermelon from the rind, and pick out the seeds. Purée it in a food processor or blender, and pour it through a strainer to measure 2 cups.

Put the purée, cornstarch or arrowroot, sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a heavy-bottomed pot and mix well to be sure the starch is completely dissolved. Heat it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and clears. Scrape it into a mold and chill until set; at least 2 hours to overnight.

Unmold the pudding in the same manner as with the jelly, and grate a little chocolate over the top before serving. If you like, you can serve it with a little whipping cream beaten until stiff with the sugar.


MMeadows said...

I have a funny story about this one! I was at this party once where they served this amazing watermelon jello (to my taste) but then we all took notice of this boy who started to sob and then escallated into a full out crying fit... He thought this was real watermelon and it wasn't!

Ferdzy said...

Oh poor kid! He has my sympathies... I enjoyed this jelly but I was expecting it. I have to say for someone who grows as much watermelon as I do, I don't have a lot of recipes for it. It's sooo hard to beat just cutting off a slice and eating it.