Watermelon is one of the summer’s greatest pleasures. For my family, enjoying watermelon while sitting outside around our picnic table or on the back porch was a real pleasure. We would grab thick wedges of melon with the rind on, which made it much easier to hold onto. We would devour the bright pink fruit until we could not eat another piece, watermelon juices dribbled down our chins, which made the smiles on our faces sticky and pink and most satisfied. When I was a child, my father grew ‘Sweet Beauty’ melons in his large garden. We would always have our eye on the biggest melon in the garden and we watched it grow daily from an egg-sized oval to a monster melon. When the melon was perfectly ripe, the neighbourhood children were invited over to share the summer delicacy. It was so heavy that Dad would carry it to our rustic old table using a wheelbarrow. What a feast we had! Whenever I see watermelons today, my mind races through all those wonderful childhood memories of friends and family.
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Over my career, I have made watermelon granita; watermelon and lime sorbet, and many litres of melon infused water and other similar treats. Watermelon is quite tricky to use in desserts because of the high water content. The flavour and colour can easily be compromised if overheated. So, when I read about an intriguing dessert called Watermelon Gelée by Chef Eddy Van Damme, I wanted to experiment with it! Watermelon Gelée is a gelatine set dessert using the juice of a watermelon. The vivid pink hue is further enhanced by the addition of raspberry liqueur. A very interesting option to consider as a garnish for the dessert is the use of tapioca pearls tinted with raspberry puree. Watermelon Gelée is refreshingly fun to make and gives you a flavourful alternative when serving watermelon this summer. You need to try this! You will enjoy it.