Watermelon ice cream is a refreshing and sweet treat that's perfect for summer. Its frosty yet creamy texture and luscious watermelon flavour set it apart from ordinary ice cream.
Watermelon sorbet has a lighter, fruitier flavour with a sharper tang because sorbet’s recipe calls for the addition of lemon juice. Unlike sorbet, this dessert recipe is smoother and more decadent, with the natural sweetness of watermelon delightfully balanced with the smoothness of milk.
We experimented with different components to ensure that the fruit's vivid flavour was the star of the show. We achieved a luscious texture without losing the essence of the fruit after much trial and error.
Not only is our watermelon ice cream recipe delicious, but it's also incredibly easy and fun to make. No ice cream maker is required, making it accessible to everyone. Simply blend fresh, ripe watermelon and milk, and voila. You'll have a delightful homemade treat that captures the essence of summer in every scoop.
So why wait? Continue reading to learn how to make watermelon ice cream and let the vibrant flavours transport you to summery bliss.
You will need watermelon and milk to make this watermelon ice cream recipe. You can add any sweetener of your choice if you like your dessert to be sweeter.
When making watermelon-flavoured ice cream, the key to getting the finest flavour and texture is to use ripe fruit. A ripe watermelon has flesh that is bright and deep in colour. This indicates that it has fully ripened and developed its natural sugars.
This sweetness is required to balance the velvetiness and improve the overall flavour of this refreshing dessert. The ripe fruit will also be luscious and flavourful, infusing your dessert with a delightful and real fruity essence.
It is critical to select a fruit that is neither underripe nor overripe. The underripe fruit may lack the proper sweetness. However, one that is overripe may become too soft and watery, compromising the smoothness of the desert. Getting the perfect ripeness balance guarantees that your watermelon ice cream is velvety and flavorful.
We also recommend removing most, if not all, of the seeds from the fruit. The seeds taste bitter and are hard even after blending. While the process of removing the seeds may be tedious, be patient with it to avoid any unwanted bitter taste and crunch in the final product.
Whole dairy milk works best for this watermelon ice cream recipe. The natural richness of this milk lends a smooth and sumptuous quality to the dessert, complementing the fruit's delicious sweetness. We'll be using full-fat dairy milk in this recipe.
Almond or cashew milk are good options if you prefer a non-dairy alternative. They have a subtle nutty flavour that complements the fruity flavour. However, please note that these nut milks have higher water content in them. Hence, this may result in an icier and less smooth dessert.
While coconut milk can be used for this dish, we do not recommend it. Coconut milk can give your cold treat a tropical flavour, but it can also overshadow the essence of the fruit.
You can also use yoghurt instead of milk in this watermelon ice cream recipe. Using yoghurt adds a tangy flavour and thickness to your dessert. Because of its thicker consistency, Greek yoghurt or strained yoghurt works well. This keeps the smoothness while preventing excessive ice crystal formulation. Kefir is another fantastic option because it is thick and tangy, like Greek yoghurt but has a more complex flavour.
Adding a sweetener to your watermelon ice cream is optional, as the natural sweetness of ripe fruit can be wonderfully satisfying on its own. However, if you like a little sweeter taste, there are a few options that can complement and enhance the fruit's flavour.
Condensed milk is our go-to sweetener. It adds a neutral sweetness and enhances the creaminess while allowing the watermelon taste to flourish. If you prefer a less sweet alternative, evaporated milk would work well too.
Honey, on the other hand, gives a delicate, floral sweetness that complements the refreshing aromas of the fruit. Its gentle sweetness enhances the fruit's flavour without dominating it, allowing the natural essence of the fruit to come through.
Agave nectar is another option. Agave nectar has a mild, caramel-like sweetness. Its smooth, liquid consistency effortlessly integrates into the cold treat, guaranteeing an even distribution of sweetness.
Alternatively, a sprinkle of coconut sugar could be used. While we do not recommend using coconut milk in this recipe, you can still add coconut sugar. Coconut sugar adds a moderate richness with subtle caramel undertones complimenting the fruit's tropical flavour.
Watermelon ice cream with heavy cream
You can make this refreshing recipe with heavy cream with a few basic changes. All you need is 3 cups of frozen ripe watermelon, diced, and 1 cup heavy cream to make this recipe.
Firstly, mix the cubes in a blender or food processor until smooth and liquid. Whip the heavy cream in a separate dish until it forms soft peaks. This will make the desert richer and smoother. Then, carefully mix the concoction into the puree until thoroughly blended.
At this point, you can taste the mixture and determine whether or not to add any optional sweetener to increase the sweetness. This fruit is naturally sweet, so use it sparingly. Set the mixture in a shallow container, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it in the freezer. Allow the dessert to freeze for at least 3 hours or until it reaches the desired firmness. And your watermelon ice cream with heavy cream is ready.
Please keep in mind that this version of the watermelon ice cream recipe will affect both the texture and taste of the cold treat. Heavy cream gives the cold treat a rich, velvety flavour that complements the natural sweetness of the fruit. It adds a gentle smoothness that balances the fruity tones, resulting in a more decadent flavour experience.
This addition is also important in creating a velvety texture for the dessert. It aids in preventing big ice crystal formation, resulting in a smoother consistency. Whipped heavy cream enhances airiness, resulting in a light and fluffy mouthfeel. Overall, watermelon ice cream with heavy cream gives a luxurious and gratifying mouthfeel that makes each spoonful more enjoyable.
How to Make Watermelon Ice Cream
You should begin by preparing the fruit. This recipe calls for around 3 cups of diced watermelon. Using a knife, chop the fruit into 1-inch small cubes. Remember to remove any seeds or rind. Then, place the diced fruit on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least four hours.
Once the fruit cubes are frozen, combine them with milk in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth and has a thick liquid consistency.
At this point, you can taste the mix and determine whether or not to add any optional sweetener to increase the sweetness. Because the fruit is naturally sweet, add the sweetener adequately if required. Gently fold it in.
Blend again until the fruit has broken down and the mixture is rich and velvety. If you like it soft and slushy and cannot wait to eat it, serve it and enjoy. Otherwise, we recommend freezing the mixture once again.
Transfer the watermelon ice cream to a loaf pan or a shallow container if you want to consume it later. Please ensure that it is distributed evenly. Cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid to prevent ice crystals from forming. You will need to prepare two batches of this summer treat to fill the loaf pan.
Place the container in the freezer for at least 3 hours or until the dessert has reached a hard consistency. This will ensure that it is completely set and ready to use.
The watermelon-flavoured ice cream is ready to serve once it has frozen. Set it aside for 10 minutes when you're ready to consume your cold dessert from frozen. Scoop the creamy loveliness into bowls or cones once it has softened slightly, and enjoy the refreshing flavours of this handmade delight.
Make it Creamier
You can use a modest amount of sweetened condensed milk to improve the creaminess of your dessert. Before adding the milk, blend a few tablespoons of condensed milk with the puree. The richness and silky texture of condensed milk lead to a smoother consistency.
Make it Sweeter
If your fruit isn't particularly sweet, you may need to add some sweetness to the watermelon-flavoured ice cream. You can use condensed milk, honey, agave nectar or coconut sugar, depending on your dietary preferences. If you want to keep things more natural, you could also use frozen bananas or strawberries. These natural sweeteners enhance the fruit's flavour by adding sweetness without dominating it.
Place the fruit cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 4 hours before blending. This pre-freezing procedure preserves the structure of the fruit during blending, resulting in a smoother puree.
Blending the fruit in smaller batches is better when working with a large volume. When the blender is overcrowded, it can be difficult to create a smooth consistency. Blend a proportion of the cubes at a time, leaving enough room for optimum blending. Then, combine the batches and thoroughly mix.
Using an Ice Cream Maker
Although we do not use an ice cream maker in this watermelon ice cream recipe, you can. The churning movement of an ice cream maker aids in breaking ice crystals and incorporating air into the liquid.
Furthermore, the freezing mechanism of an ice cream maker is designed to freeze the mixture fast, minimising the overall freezing time. This rapid freezing aids in the prevention of big ice crystal formation, resulting in a smoother texture.
Fun Ways to Present
Watermelon Ice Cream Bars/Lollies
A fun way to present this cold dessert is by turning it into bars or lollies. Pour the mixture into a popsicle bar mould and freeze them. These frozen sweets are easy to hold and enjoy, making them ideal for a refreshing summer snack.
Mini Chocolate Chips as seeds
Sprinkle small chocolate chips on top of your watermelon ice cream to make it more fun. When the chocolate chips are frozen, they will resemble the fruit’s seeds. This simple addition not only improves the visual attractiveness of the dish but also adds a delicious textural contrast as you bite into the velvety dessert. You can also pair this up with tempura ice cream for an exciting hot and cold dessert.
Watermelon Ice Cream Cake
Consider making a cold dessert cake for a show-stopping treat. Begin by putting a layer of red watermelon ice cream in the freezer. Once the treat is set, add a white or green ice cream layer. To mimic the colour of the fruit, use pure vanilla or coconut flavour for the white layer and matcha ice cream for the green layer. For an authentic appearance, freeze the cake in a cylinder-shaped mould.
Watermelon Ice Cream Slices
To add a unique touch to your dessert, freeze it in the fridge before cutting it into slices. Cut smaller watermelons in half, and scoop out the flesh to save for later. Fill the hollowed-out rind halfway with the dessert ingredients and place in the freezer until hard. Once frozen, cut the cold treat into delicious wedges. The rind can also serve as a unique serving bowl for your slices.
How to Store
Transfer the watermelon ice cream from the frozen container to an airtight container to store. To prevent the formation of ice crystals, place the container in the freezer and ensure it is well-sealed. This refreshing dessert can be refrigerated correctly for up to 2-3 months and retain its flavour and texture. For the finest taste and quality, we recommend you enjoy it within this window.
Watermelon Ice Cream Recipe
- 3 cups cubed watermelon
- 1 cup dairy milk
- 2 tbsps condensed milk (Optional)
- Line a quarter sheet pan using parchment paper. Place the watermelon in uniform cubes on the pan. Then, place in the freezer for four hours (or until completely frozen).
- Remove the fruit from the freezer and combine it with the milk in a high-speed blender. Blend until the fruit has broken down and the mixture is rich and velvety.
- Transfer the puree to a plastic container or loaf pan and freeze it for at 3 hours. When you're ready to consume your cold dessert, let it aside for 10 minutes to get to room temperature before scooping. Serve and enjoy once it has softened slightly.
- We like using condensed milk to add sweetness as well as creaminess to the ice cream. You can refer to other alternatives in the ingredients section above. Add your sweetener of choice to the when blending the fruit with milk.
- Make sure to cover the plastic container or loaf pan before freezing. This helps prevent any freeze burns and the formation of large ice particles. Cover with a lid or cling film.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.