Italian lime pudding (gelo)

italian lime pudding gelo

A refreshing dessert perfect for warm weather that tastes like a popsicle.
Recipe makes 4 small (200ml / 6.7 fl oz) puddings.


  • 480ml (2 cups) fresh lime juice (from about 1kg / 2 pounds / 10 limes)
  • 200g (2 cups) white granulated sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 35g (1/4 cup) corn starch
  • 240ml (1 cup) whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (more to taste)
  • fresh mint


  1. Fill 4 ramekins with ice cold water and set aside.
  2. If there’s a lot of pulp in your lime juice, first drain it through a sieve. In a saucepan (I prefer enamel for this) combine lime juice and sugar. Cook on medium heat until sugar completely dissolves. Taste to see if you want more sugar and keep adding it until it fits your taste.
  3. Quickly stir in the cornstarch. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a silicone whisk or spatula. Cook until the mixture thickens, this takes a few minutes, until it starts to cling to the spatula and looks, for lack of a better word, slimy. Remove from heat.
  4. Empty the ramekins and shake off the water, then quickly divide the pudding between all the ramekins. Let cool completely, then cover each ramekin with a lid or plastic wrap and continue chilling in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Combine cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of your mixer. Whisk on medium speed until cream form stiff peeks. Store in the fridge as the pudding is chilling.
  6. When ready to serve, take pudding out of the fridge and decorate it with cream and fresh mint leaves.


Pudding keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days.

For a lighter pudding, substitute 1/2 lime juice with water and use less sugar. You can make this pudding with other citrus too; oranges, mandarins or lemons are perfect,

About whipped cream: To make the cream look really pretty, without much work and props, store freshly whipped cream in a Ziplock (or similar) bag. Twist the bag as you would a pastry bag and push cream towards one corner. Snip of that corner then decorate the pudding.

Recipe inspired by Southern Italian Desserts cookbook.