Sicilian watermelon pudding is an easy dessert with a silky texture and fresh, fruity flavor. It’s the perfect, just-sweet-enough ending for hearty, heavy meals.
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Love dessert but not into heavy, super sweet ones? This recipe’s for you. This easy Sicilian watermelon pudding is fruity and fresh and the perfect respite from rich, heavy meals. Though the pudding is lean, it has a satisfyingly silky texture, and it is just sweet enough to close a dinner party on a festive note. Sicilian watermelon pudding can also serve as a pre-dessert as part of a more elaborate menu; its bright flavor will act as a palate-cleanser and open your guests’ appetite for an indulgent dessert to follow.
Watermelon pudding (or gelo di melone, in Italian) originates from Palermo, Sicily, where it is considered an elegant way to use the abundant summer watermelon crops. The pudding is traditionally infused with jasmine and garnished with pistachios or shaved chocolate. While watermelon is indeed usually associated with summer, I love that it is also available all year long, which means you can make watermelon pudding 12 months a year! Sure, during the winter, watermelon can be slightly more expensive, but you get so much fruit—and so many servings—for the price you pay. Plus, watermelon is versatile, so you can enjoy any leftover fruit in salads, smoothies, and cocktails—which may or may not be my favorite way of enjoying watermelon.
I actually came up with this watermelon pudding recipe around the holidays, a few years ago: I wanted to make a leaner dessert, and I was looking for a totally different option than what you’ll usually see on holiday tables. I thought back to a watermelon pudding I’d enjoyed in Sicily and was convinced it would be a hit—the gorgeous coral color of this Sicilian watermelon pudding, combined with a cloud of whipped cream, and sprinkled with bright green pistachios—I ask you, what dessert looks more festive than that? Of course, you can serve the pudding sans whipped cream if you want, but adding just a touch adds a wonderful creaminess that complements the deliciously silky texture of the pudding itself.
Sicilian watermelon pudding is very quick and easy to make, so it’s an excellent last-minute dessert option. It’s also the dessert you should make if you feel exhausted but still want to serve something tasty to your guests. Feel free to double or triple the recipe, depending on the number of guests you expect—and your energy levels.
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Disclosure Notice: This post was created in partnership with the National Watermelon Promotion Board as part of their #EatMoreWatermelon campaign. I was offered monetary compensation for developing a delicious recipe using watermelon. As always, companies never dictate what recipes I create or the opinions I express. I only use products I genuinely believe in.
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