Heirloom Watermelon Italian Ice

This recipe was a beautiful accident.  Molly was hoping for more of a sorbet, but it wasn’t soft enough.  The result became the unexpected re-creation of a childhood favorite: Italian ice.  All she needed was a little wooden spoon and a baseball game!

Heirloom Watermelon Italian Ice

The grass-fed gelatin and vodka in this recipe is used to create a soft texture.  The vodka can be left out for kids, but it will affect the texture a bit.

  • 10 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes, Freeze Time: 2 hours
  • Easy


  • 8 cups of seeded, rough chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup maple crystals
  • 2 tsp gelatin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp good-quality vodka
  • pinch sea salt


  1. In a blender, puree the watermelon into a slushy consistency, about one minute.
  2. Take one cup of the puree and place in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the gelatin and maple crystals to the saucepan, stirring to combine, until gelatin and sugar are dissolved. Make sure not to bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Take the sauce pan off the heat, and add the contents to the blender that is filled with the watermelon puree.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients and blend on medium-high, until all the ingredients are incorporated. Chill in the refrigerator one hour or chill in an ice bath for ten minutes, stirring occasionally (*).
  5. Freeze according to the ice cream machine manufacturer's instructions, about 30 minutes. Then, pour watermelon ice into a freezer proof container and allow to freeze until set, about 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

*The mixture is properly chilled and ready to transfer to the bowl of the ice cream machine, when it begins to form a skin on the sides of the container in which it is chilling.