Real Watermelon Ice Cream

by April on July 13, 2011

8/21/13 Update: I have retaken new photos of this recipe, posted here! Thanks for checking it out!

Today I woke up feeling more refreshed sleep-wise than I have in a long time. I went to bed, slept and wasn’t interrupted or startled by anything for at least seven, maybe even eight, solid hours. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a while, because there is always something around here waking me up unexpectedly. Dogs, footsteps around the house, my fan wobbling in the middle of the night, getting a text message- all of those things and more wake me up more often than they should. So this morning I felt pretty good upon waking up and decided to hit it with my weekly food related chores. I made some hashbrowns with a sunnyside up egg. I made Caroline’s chocolate covered blueberries, which were just amazing. I made a grocery list and printed out coupons, and hit up Publix in my athletic shorts and a USC shirt, scrub style.

Then I came home and continued on the sweet streak. Watermelon ice cream was my next mission. It’s not easy to find good watermelon ice cream recipes online. Most of them are for watermelon “bombes” which look like a real pain in the ass to make and are not even watermelon flavored. Emeril’s recipe uses eight egg yolks, hell no. I went with an adaption of this recipe from Playing With Food.

Watermelon Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 3 ish cups watermelon cubes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vodka

Directions

Remove the black seeds from the cubes if needed. Puree the watermelon cubes. Press the watermelon puree through a sieve to remove any chunks or seeds. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until the sugar is fully incorporated. Put into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions (basically turn it on and let it run until the mixture is fluffy and creamy).

This ice cream comes out so fluffy and light it’s almost like cotton candy. You may be wondering why the vodka is necessary in the ice cream, and it’s because watermelon has such a high water content (hence the name watermelon) that it tends to ice up in the freezer more than other fruit based ice creams. Since the vodka has a high alcohol content, it displaces the ice crystals so that the whole mixture doesn’t turn into a solid block of ice once it’s left in the freezer to ripen. You could leave it out, but expect to have to leave the ice cream out to thaw before digging in after pulling it out of the freezer.

This ice cream is so good, I’m going to spend the next few days churning out a couple of batches to get through these watermelons I have before they turn. Preserving has never been so refreshingly good.

  • Shanika@Lifeispichey

    OMG! That looks amazing! I must try that.

  • Hilary

    Like, wow. That looks amazing! I would have thought of watermelon sorbet, but never putting it into creamy ice cream…and now, I desperately want to. I fear that the list of recipes I am bookmarking to try with my new ice cream maker is growing far too long for the remaining months of summer….this could be a problem.

  • Colette Newton

    I didn’t have any vodka so substituted 2oz. Smirnoff’s Mohito, a combination of vodka, lime ligueur & mint. Amazing. This recipe also worked with the “Mrs. Marshall” method of making ice cream without a machine.

    • April

      Mmm!!! I’ve been loving mint with watermelon this summer! It’s so dang hot any extra refreshment is welcomed!

  • Debbie

    I have a LOT of watermelon juice — I juiced most of a watermelon. How much juice did the 3 cups of watermelon cubes turn out to be?? Thx!

    • April

      Hmmm, I can’t recall for sure, but to account for the air between the melon, I’d say anywhere between 2 to 2 1/3 cups of juice maybe? And for what it’s worth, watermelon juice is great for your ladytimes, it reduces bloat! :)

  • Jeremiah

    I shared your recipe with a bunch of organic gardeners growing watermelons in South Africa, hope you don’t mind… thanks for the teriffic recipe.

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