I have seen a few yellow leaves on the trees while walking today. While we still have some sunny days ahead, summer draws to an end here in Italy. A few years ago I started celebrating the end of summer by making a bright delicious easy Italian dessert. Last year I made peaches in rosé wine. This year I am saying “Goodbye, summer” with a typical Sicilian dessert called “gelo di anguria”, or watermelon pudding. There are still watermelons around but they are starting to look tired and their flesh is a touch too dry and overly-ripe for my liking. So I used some imperfect anguria to make this tasty and light pudding. To cut back on required sugar I added a couple of figs, which made the gelo slightly more dense and less wobbly than the ones I have tried in Sicily. I served the pudding with dark chocolate flakes, however, more traditional garnishes include cinnamon, jasmine or crushed pistachios.
1.5 kg watermelon flesh, pitted and chopped
80 g caster sugar
2 medium figs, peeled
100 g cornflour
A chunk of dark chocolate
Blend watermelon and figs in a food processor until smooth. Place about 100 g of the pulp, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan, stirring until the cornflour has dissolved. Add remaining watermelon pulp to pan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking constantly making sure that no lumps form. Continue to whisk until thick. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and transfer to ramekins or small serving glass bowls. Chill for 3-4 hours or until set. Serve topped with chocolate flakes, cream, or crushed pistachios.
Buon appetito and goodbye, summer!