We’re moving South into the Free State of Bavaria, or Freistaat Bayern as it is known within Germany. Occupying over 27,000 square miles including a significant region of the German Alps, Bavaria is a unique and special place to visit. Life here seems a bit less formal than in cities to the North, with even greater emphasis placed upon leisurely enjoyment of traditional food and local bier. Expansive, interesting landscapes compel travelers to slow down and stay a while.
All of this sunshine and summery fresh air means that I still have watermelon on the brain. Watermelon and vanilla ice cream make a fine flavor combination, do you agree? Let’s make a batch of delicious Watermelon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Topping!
2 cups pureed watermelon
2 cups sugar, divided into 1 1/2 cups (for step 1) and another 1/2 cup (for step 2)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon powdered pectin
1 vanilla bean
Step 1) Combine pureed watermelon, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
Step 2) Combine 1/2 cup sugar and pectin; mix well. Sprinkle sugar/pectin mixture all over the surface of the boiling watermelon mixture and stir until well combined.
Step 3) Stirring constantly, return pot to a full, rolling boil. Boil for one minute, then remove from heat.
Step 4) While mixture cools slightly, carefully cut your vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Use the tip of a paring knife to scrape out the tiny vanilla seeds inside the bean. Add the tiny seeds, just a few at a time so that they don’t all clump together, to your pot. Stir well to combine. When cool, store your ice cream topping in the refrigerator. Serve over real vanilla ice cream and enjoy, preferably while looking out over the Alps!
Optional – Step 5) This recipe is suitable for canning, and makes a great gift! Simply double the recipe and ladle into sterilized, half pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Place lids and bands on jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 4, half pint jars.