Watermelon gelee

by Eddy Van Damme on August 20, 2009

Watermelon gelee

Watermelon Gelée

In the past, watermelon was hardly ever taken home from the market to our house. It was my belief that they were mostly water and did not contain that much nutrition. So, even though the watermelon’s flavor and texture is wonderful, I simply did not bother with them that much. Then I discovered that watermelons are actually higher in lycopene than tomatoes and that they are an excellent source of vitamin A, B1, B6 and C. So, not only did we start to eat more watermelon at home, I also started to look on how I could use watermelons in desserts.

Watermelon

The juice of a watermelon is similar to the viscosity of lemon or passion fruit, but does not have the same flavor strength as these juices. So preparing a watermelon curd for example or countless other desserts is out of the question. I have found that watermelon works great in a gelatin setting. As a gelatin dessert there is no need for whipped cream, butter or countless other ingredients which would only do one thing which is diluting the watermelon flavor. All we need is only a touch of sugar and if desired a hint of liquor such as raspberry, white Rum or Kirsch.

The flavor of raspberries works great with watermelon. It counteracts the sweetness and brings out floral notes of the watermelon which I particularly like.  Raspberry can be added to a watermelon dessert in many different ways, add it as a sorbet, coulis, fresh etc.

The small pearls you see in the picture are nothing more than tapioca pearls cooked in raspberry juice and water. It gives the pearls a fantastic color and nice flavor.  The pink macaroon on the right is a Gerbet or Parisian macaroon-Macaron. Since these are quite the challenge, I’ll devote an article on just these another time.  The recipe can also be found in On Baking, second edition, page 650.

Watermelon juice

Getting it all together!

Get started by placing chunks of watermelon in jour juicer. Let the juice sit for a while and then skim off any cloudy part on the surface. Continue and prepare the watermelon gelée. You can pour it in glasses for easy serving or pour it in a plastic food lined 9×9 inch (23 x 23 cm) baking pan to obtain a look as shown in the picture. Let sit for several hours or overnight.  Once well firmed lift it out the pan and cut into desired shapes and place on a plate. You can prepare the coulis at this stage and also keep it in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve this summer style dessert, serve with fresh raspberries and some raspberry coulis.

Watermelon Gelée

Recipe below is made using gelatin leaves/sheets which is my preferred method. Below this recipe is another version using powdered gelatin.

Yield:  up to 6 servings

4 Cups (32 oz) Watermelon juice 1000 ml
6 Tablespoons (3 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar 90 g
10 10 Gelatin leaves/sheets 10
3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) Raspberry or Kirsch or Rum liquor 45 ml
  1. Place the gelatin leaves in a bowl with very cold water and let sit at least 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the watermelon juice and the sugar. Heat it very gently to about 80⁰F (25⁰C), remember this is barely lukewarm, if overheated the watermelon flavor and color will be compromised.
  3. Remove the gelatin leaves from the water and squeeze out the water. Add the gelatin to the heated mixture and stir until the gelatin is well dissolved.  Add the liquor.
  4. Pour into desired vessel and place in the refrigerator for several hours.

Watermelon Gelée

This recipe is made using gelatin powder.

Yield:  up to 6 servings

4 Cups (32 oz) Watermelon juice 1000 ml
6 Tablespoons (3 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar 90 g
4 envelopes 1 oz Gelatin powder 30 g
3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) Raspberry or Kirsch or Rum liquor 45 ml
  1. Place the gelatin powder in a bowl and cover with one fourth of the juice. Let sit at least 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the watermelon juice and the sugar. Heat it very gently to about 120⁰F (50⁰C), remember this is barely lukewarm, if overheated the watermelon flavor and color will be compromised.
  3. Pour the heated juice into the gelatin mixture and stir.  Add the liquor.
  4. Pour into desired vessel and place in the refrigerator for several hours.

Raspberry Tapioca Pearls

¼ cup (1 oz) Small tapioca pearls-not instant 30 g
1 Cup (8 oz) Water 240g
¼ Cup 2 oz Raspberry puree 60 g
¾ Cup (6 oz) Water 180 g
  1. Place the tapioca pearls in a bowl and cover with the first listed water. Cover and let sit overnight.
  2. Drain the water and place the soaked pearls back into a bowl.  Add the raspberry puree and remaining water and place over a double boiler. Heat for about 15-20 minutes on low heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer or boil.
  3. When a dente, remove from heat and cover. The pearls will obtain more color as they cool.
  4. Once cooled place in a sieve and rinse with water.
  5. If desired omit the rinse step and sweeten with sugar and mix into drinks-yogurt etc.

8 comments on “Watermelon gelee

  1. Love this refreshing yet simple summer dessert. Made the same dessert at home and used the chilled cubes as ice in shots! lol

  2. Fabulous, refreshing and looks perfect for summer! What will you do next?

    Diana

  3. Darren Moore on said:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will try this out next week.

  4. This message is unmatched))), very interesting to me:)

  5. This looks delicious! I’m going to make it soon.

  6. felipe riccio on said:

    I loved todays class, thank you for teaching me about macarons, I wanna make so many now, my chefs at work loved them, and I think you should dedicate a whole post to them, like how to flavor and color, unusual flavors, and such…I do have one question…can you use other nut flours?

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Felipe, yes it is possible to make macaroons with other nut flours. What also works great is blends such as almond-pistachio or almond hazelnut.

  8. Marissa Astrich on said:

    I love watermelon, but never thought it had a strong enough flavor to use in a dessert. Also, I did know watermelon had so many vitamins in it. I will have to try this next summer!

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