Twice Churned Watermelon And Coconut Ice Cream

This recipe is for a two-day ice cream. I know the Swiss and Italians would be appalled, but if you have a spare ten minutes, this one is really worth it. With this kind of recipe, I don't like to give exact quantities, because it really depends on you own personal taste. I don't have a very sweet tooth, so I don't add much sugar to the fruit, but you can use as much as suits you.

I need to explain the choice of watermelon, as this is not commmonly used in ice cream. When eaten fresh, watermelon is so aqueous that the taste is often literally drowned in the water. Using the fruit in ice cream or cold soup brings out the full, delicate and beautiful flavour.

When used in this ice cream recipe, the sweetness of the buttermilk, coconut and cream is detected first. The mildly acidic taste of the watermelon follows closely behind, resulting in a fantastic experience of separated, but harmonious, sour-sweet flavours.


Fresh watermelon (cut into cubes and freeze thoroughly before using)
Caster sugar
Coconut milk
Double cream


Since my food processor is quite small, I have to do this in three goes and mix them together afterwards. You should start by placing a suitable amount of your cubed watermelon into the processor. Now add as much sugar as you think is necessary compared to the amount of fruit you have. Be careful at this point because, like salt, you can always add more but you can't take away. Combine your buttermilk and coconut milk in the ratio of 4:1 buttermilk to coconut.

Now switch on for about ten seconds and let the blades roughly chop up the fruit. Turn it on again and slowly add your milks until fully incorportated. As the watermelon fruit is made up of 80 to 90% water, what you have at first will more closely resemble a sorbet than an ice cream in texture as well as in taste. This is what you want at this stage. It will be churned again the following day with the double cream and when finished will be half way between a sorbet and an ice cream. Now you have completed the first churn, place in a freezer bag and leave in the freezer overnight.

At this stage your product will be fully frozen, but won't be soft and smooth like ice cream. Instead it should be quite hard. What you do now is place it on a board and cut it into cubes again. Place back in the food processor and blitz for another ten seconds. Now continue to blitz while slowly pouring in your double cream, about the same quantity as with the buttermilk. You should now have something smooth and creamy, which will partially harden when frozen.

Your twice-churned ice cream is now ready to serve. I recommend portioning into wine glasses while soft and chilling in the freezer until it reaches your desired consistency. Turning into the glasses with a spoon in the shape of quenelles gives an appealing display. If you want a much softer result, you can always add some form of alcohol to the mixture, which lowers the freezing temperature, giving a softer end product.