Mouth-Watering Watermelon Bars
Watermelon and lemon combine in these refreshing, summery bars.
These creamy bars are just the thing to serve after a meal cooked on the grill. Made with watermelon, lemon juice and cream, they're served chilled and are perfectly complimented by a dollop of whipped cream or a dusting of confectioners' sugar.
step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
step 2 Mix the melted butter into the finely ground vanilla wafers and add 2 Tablespoons of water. Mix well and press the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared pan, forming a crust. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and allow to cool.
step 3 Set aside 2 cups of the watermelon juice in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 cups of watermelon juice with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and heavy cream.
step 4 Sprinkle the gelatin over the reserved 2 cups of watermelon juice. Allow to sit for 2 minutes so that gelatin can dissolve and begin to absorb liquid, or "bloom." After the gelatin blooms, heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, or heat gently in a small pot over low heat on the stove top, until the gelatin has completely melted into the juice and the liquid is smooth.
step 5 Add the watermelon juice with the melted gelatin to the larger bowl of juice from Step 3. Stir to combine. Gently pour the mixture over the prepared crust from Step 2 and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until the mixture is firm. (Alternately, place the pan in the refrigerator and allow to set for 3 to 4 hours.)
step 6 Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, cut the watermelon bars into squares. If desired, sprinkle each serving with confectioners' sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.
To make watermelon juice, simply place the watermelon cubes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture with a strainer into a bowl.
Unflavored gelatin is commonly packaged in small envelopes (one or more envelopes to a box). Look for it in the pudding and gelatin section of your grocery store.