Heirloom Watermelon Italian Ice

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Yield: 1 Quart

Although it’s fun and delicious to use an heirloom watermelon for this recipe, any watermelon will do! If you’d like to try out a unique variety, check out your local farmers’ market, which is bound to have beautiful melons this time of year.

8 cups of seeded and 3/4″ diced watermelon
3/4 cup honey granules
2 tsp gelatin
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp good-quality vodka
pinch sea salt

In a blender, blend watermelon until smooth, which will result in 5 1/2 cups puree. If not, add more or remove watermelon to reach 5 1/2 cups puree. Pour 1 cup puree into a small saucepan and leave the remaining in the blender. To the saucepan, add honey granules and gelatin. Over medium heat, while stirring, warm puree until honey granules and gelatin melt. The mixture will not even need to reach a simmer to do this. Simply lift a spoon of the puree up and check until graininess has diminished and a smooth, yet pulpy mixture remains. Once dissolved, remove from heat.

To the blender, add lemon juice, vodka, sea salt and honey granule mixture. Blend briefly to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The mixture may be left in the blender to while chilling, if desired. Once chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once processed, chill overnight in one large glass container or individual ramekins. If using one large container, leave several inches for the mixture to expand.


  • Hello I am researching some new ways to make an organic line and I wanted to know what would be a good substitute for the gelatin?

    February 24, 2014
    • Molly Chester

      The gelatin is pretty necessary. Organic gelatin isn’t available?

      February 24, 2014
  • Kassy

    Is the vodka necessary for it to come together? I want to make this and allow my 19 month old to have a healthy summer “treat,” but would prefer to omit it if possible. Thanks! Also, I just got Back to Butter in the mail yesterday, and I am so excited to try out all of these recipes!

    July 17, 2014
    • Molly Chester

      The vodka makes it more creamy. You can make it without it, but it will be more icey. Still delicious, though. :)

      July 21, 2014

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