Watermelon frost or melon frost

Watermelon ice, melon ice or rather “mellone” ice, as we call it in Sicily, a summery and fragrant spoon dessert based on watermelon juice.
Watermelon ice is a tasty fruit semifreddo perfect to bring to the table as a dessert at the end of a meal or as a refreshing snack. Similar to a shiny jelly and a beautiful intense red, with a delicate flavor and a soft consistency that melts in the mouth, it is decorated with chopped pistachios and chocolate chips to simulate watermelon seeds.
In Palermo, melon gelo is considered among the most traditional desserts of Sicilian pastry making and is also prepared in the form of small sablè pastry tartlets or as a tart filled with Sicilian shortcrust pastry.
Preparing the watermelon ice is quick and easy because it requires very short cooking: just extract the watermelon juice with a food mill, add the sugar and starch and let it thicken on the heat. Each family has its own recipe, there are those who flavor the juice by dipping jasmine flowers into it and those who prefer cloves or cinnamon.
Granita and brioches with tuppo are not the only Sicilian recipes loved in summer. Among these, melon frost also stands out, a dense cream, beautiful to the eye and pleasant to the palate.


  • 1 l watermelon juice
  • 230 g sugar
  • 60 g starch say more
  • 10 g gelatine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • dark chocolate chips to taste

To decorate

  • chopped pistachios to taste
  • dark chocolate flakes to taste
  • jasmine flowers
  • food mill, or blender or extractor

  • narrow mesh sieve

  • Cut the watermelon and remove the seeds from inside.

  • Gradually transfer the watermelon pieces into the food mill, or into a bowl, to be able to blend it with the blender. If you have one at home, the extractor is also fine.

  • Remove the filaments by passing the juice through a narrow mesh sieve.

  • Prepare some single-portion cups or glasses, where you will place a few drops of chocolate on the bottom.

  • Transfer the juice into a large pot and add a cinnamon stick cut in half and a few jasmine flowers.

  • Place the sifted starch into a bowl. In the same bowl, add a small part of sugar and mix with the help of a whisk to break it up.

  • Then, add a few ladles of still cold watermelon juice, mix and keep it aside.

  • In the meantime, add cold water to the isinglass to soften it.

  • Now, add all the remaining sugar to the pot along with the watermelon juice. Give it a stir, turn on the heat to medium high and wait for it to come to a boil.

  • As soon as the watermelon juice is hot but not yet boiling, add a couple of ladles of juice to the starch set aside, in this way you will dissolve the starch. Always mix with the whisk.

  • As soon as the juice in the pot starts to smoke, remove the cinnamon and jasmine flowers.

  • Squeeze the isinglass well and place it in the pan. Mix well to dissolve it.

  • Meanwhile the juice will begin to boil. At this point add the starch. Continue stirring until it reaches the boil, it will take a few seconds.

  • Turn off the heat and pour the ice cream into cups, glasses or directly into a tray with high edges.

  • Let it dissolve for a few minutes, then place it in the fridge without covering to let it cool and firm up. It will take approximately 1 and a half hours. It should be firm and gelatinous.

  • At this point, decorate as desired with chocolate flakes, chopped pistachios and a few jasmine flowers. If you like, even a small sprinkling of cinnamon but without exaggerating.

  • It will keep for about 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

Isinglass is used to keep the watermelon frost more transparent.
You can replace it by adding the same amount of starch.


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