National Watermelon Day is celebrated August 3. We love enjoying watermelon throughout the summer and are definitely fans of a refreshing slice of the fruit. We are happy to share a great dessert recipe with you to help celebrate this day. [photo via rightathome]
But first, some interesting facts about this staple fruit of summer.
- Approximately 300 varieties of watermelon are grown throughout the United States and Mexico. Some of the varieties include: seeded, seedless, yellow, orange, and mini.
- Seedless watermelons were invented more than 50 years ago.
- A watermelon is 92% water.
- The heaviest watermelon, according to Guinness World Records, was grown in Arkansas in 2005 and weighed 268.8 pounds.
- The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred in Egypt nearly 5000 years ago.
And now enjoy some easy and delicious Watermelon Bars,,,
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
- 12 ounces round vanilla wafers
- 3/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 5 cups watermelon juice*
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 oz. unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or 1 cup whipped cream, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°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.
- Mix the melted butter into the finely ground vanilla wafers and add 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.
- 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 milk.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
Desserts made with fresh fruit are healthy and tasty. These creamy bars are perfect after a meal from the grill. Watermelon, lemon juice and milk combine perfectly for this refreshing summertime treat!