This wobbly Sicilian summer snack hails from the capital, Palermo, and is a popular way to make use of the season’s watermelon glut. The refreshing jelly is typically prepared in the hottest month, August. And while it generally only includes three ingredients – watermelon, sugar and cornflour – the garnishes vary from area to area, ranging from cinnamon, jasmine and pistachios, to chocolate chips, which are thought to resemble watermelon seeds.
- 1.5 kg seedless watermelon flesh, chopped
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g (⅔ cup) cornflour, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- whipped cream, chopped pistachios, chopped dark chocolate, and shaved candied cedro (see Note) (optional), to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 4 hours
Cooling time 30 minutes
Place watermelon in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain into a bowl through a fine sieve and, using the back of a spoon, push down to extract as much of the liquid as possible.
Place sugar and cornflour in a saucepan and whisk to combine, then add 80 ml watermelon pulp and vanilla extract, stirring until the cornflour has dissolved. Add remaining watermelon pulp to pan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk for a further 6 minutes or until thick, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature, whisking mixture occasionally to prevent surface forming a skin.
Transfer to a clear glass serving dish (for best results) and cover with plastic wrap.
Chill for 4 hours or until set. Serve topped with cream, pistachios, chocolate and cedro, if using.
• Candied cedro, also called citron, is available from specialist food shops.
Photography by Chris Chen
As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2013, Issue 27.