How many of you out there love gelato? How about watermelon gelato? It is the perfect summer dessert to cool you off after a hot day and so refreshing!
Fresh watermelon frozen and then pureed and added to a custard base. Mixed all up and added to a loaf pan. All without the fuss of an ice cream maker. Because who has time to use an ice cream maker? I sure don’t with my kiddos super busy schedules.
The only time consuming process of this watermelon gelato is the cooling down of the custard and freezing of the gelato. Nevertheless, the prep process is simple and your end result is amazing. So the next time the kids ask for a cheap Walmart freezer pop, scoop them out some of this and I promise they won’t want anything else!
My first love affair of gelato started from Divino Gelato in Brookfield Square mall. I have tried several flavors and literally love them all. However, my current favorite one is the cherry, but chocolate never disappoints. It is so creamy and flavorful and definitely less fat than good old Ben and Jerry’s.
I have never made gelato, but was excited to try a different flavor. Always thinking out of the box is my motto and making different desserts is fun and exciting. Again, I did not disappoint on this either. So do yourself a huge favor and make this watermelon gelato.
What is Gelato?
Gelato is a frozen dessert of Italian descent. It is made with a base of milk and sugar and is lower in fat than other frozen desserts. Density is creamier than other desserts and more flavoring due to 70% less air.
Gelato comes in many different flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and several fruity ones. However, more modern ones such as my watermelon ones are coming to the forefront!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Milk: 2% or whole. Whole milk just gives it more flavor.
- Egg yolks
- Granulated sugar: honey can be used as well.
- Heavy whipping cream
- Vanilla extract: or vanilla paste
- Fresh watermelon: frozen and then pureed.
Tips to make the best watermelon gelato
There are no many steps involved when making gelato without an ice cream maker, but follow these tricks to make the best watermelon gelato.
- Using fresh or frozen watermelon to get the best fruit flavor
- Make sure to cook the custard slow and on low heat. If you bring to a boil, the eggs will scramble. However, if the eggs do scramble, use an immersion blender for about 25 seconds and the custard will be good as new!
- Only fold in the whipped cream into the gelato, as mixing will deflate the whipped cream.
- It can be stored in the freezer in a sealed airtight container for up to 6 weeks.
How to make watermelon gelato!
These simple steps below will give you the best watermelon gelato on this planet! And all without an ice cream maker!
1. Pour milk into a large saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer. Puree thawed out watermelon.
2. While the milk is heating up, whisk together the egg yolks and 1 cup of granulated sugar until smooth. Temper your egg mixture by adding about 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the mixture while whisking. Then, pour the warm mixture back into the saucepan.
3. On low heat, cook the custard for about 5-7 minutes or until it has thickened slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Don’t bring mixture to a boil as it will curdle.
4. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature (stir often, about every 5 minutes). Once it has cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
5. Once the custard base is cold, mix heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the custard mixture.
6. Stir together the watermelon puree and 1 tbsp of granulated sugar, until the sugar has dissolved.
7. Pour gelato into a loaf pan and place in the freezer. Go in about every 45-60 minutes and mix to break up ice crystals. Do this between 2-3x until it has thickened up.
8. Once the gelato has thickened, let it freeze for another 4-5 hours or until it is frozen before scooping. Cover and freeze for up to 6-8 weeks.
- Large saucepan
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Loaf pan
- Electric mixer
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups watermelon frozen and then pureed
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- In a large saucepan, add the whole milk. Turn heat to medium low and bring to a gentle simmer. Puree the watermelon and set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the 1 cup of sugar together until smooth. Temper the eggs, by slowly adding about ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture in while whisking continuously. Pour the custard into the hot milk and place over low heat.
- Stir the custard mixture for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture has slightly thickened (enough to coat the back of the spoon). Don't bring to a boil or the mixture will curdle.
- Pour the custard mixture through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir every 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Once completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours to overnight.
- Once the custard is cold, add heavy cream to bowl and mix until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the custard into the whipped cream with a spatula.
- Stir together the pureed watermelon and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add this into the gelato base.
- Pour the gelato into the loaf pan and place in freezer. After 45-60 minutes, whip it up to break up any ice crystals that have formed. Repeat this process 2-3x until it has thickened.
- Cover well and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
fun fact of the day!
There is a Starbucks in Myungdong, South Korea that is 5 stories tall! I am a Starbucks junkie and I would be in my heaven here!