Frozen Watermelon-Lime Bars

Frozen Watermelon-Lime Bars

I bought “the hugest” (my little son’s description :) watermelon a couple of days ago. Since there are only two watermelon-eaters in our home, everyone got quite a share; but we still couldn’t finish it. Sometimes, when you eat too much of your favorite thing you can suddenly (and never gradually) reach to the point when even a thought about what you were eating a moment before with an impressive appetite, becomes unpleasantly disturbing. That was the case. The leftover of this watermelon was sitting in the fridge, occupying always valuable space. I was too weak to get rid of it (I hate throwing perfectly good food away). Instead, I started thinking about transforming it into something else. This August’s “Gourmet” I got in the mail had just what I might had needed. Usually, I’m quite skeptical about the idea of utilizing condensed milk as a main ingredient in the dessert. But here it was used only in one layer, and was diluted with a very generous amount of lime juice, so, I gave it a try. It wasn’t bad, really. And I LOVED the watermelon sorbet.

A bit of tequila prevents the sorbet from freezing too hard, and adds a nice touch. The dessert cuts nicely and looks pretty on a plate; but it’s a very good idea to chill the plates before serving. This way the guests get a chance to enjoy eating the dessert with a fork rather than drinking it or licking from the plate.

Serves 8 to 12

For the watermelon sorbet:

  • About 2 1/2-lb piece of watermelon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (add a bit more to your taste, if you wish)
  • 1 tbsp tequila

For the lime semifredo:

  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk (choose a reliable brand)
  • Grated zest of two limes
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chilled heavy cream

Make the watermelon sorbet:

Line a 9-inch square baking pan (2 inches deep) with plastic wrap or parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Put the lined pan in the freezer.

Coarsely chop the watermelon flesh (leave the seeds in), then puree in a blender or food processor to yield 2 ½ cups. Add the sugar, juice, and tequila to the puree and process for 30 seconds. Chill the mixture until cold, then process in an ice cream maker.

Transfer the sorbet into the lined pan, smoothing the top. Put in the freezer to harden, at least for 2 hours.

Make the lime semifredo, assemble the dessert:

Whisk together the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Beat the whipping cream until it just holds medium peaks, then gently fold into the condensed-milk mixture in three additions.

Spread over the frozen sorbet, smoothing the top. Freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

To serve, lift the dessert from the pan using plastic wrap or parchment overhang. Cut into bars and serve on the chilled plates.

The dessert can be frozen (covered once completely frozen) up to 3 days. Cut into bars just before serving.

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27 Responses to “Frozen Watermelon-Lime Bars”

  1. Love the presentation!
    I bought a small watermelon the other day so no more left-over to try this out. Love the recipe for lime semi-fredo too.

  2. these look so refreshing . And they re really perfectly cut. I always end up with a mess when cutting bars . hmmmmmmmm

  3. Hooray to you for not throwing food away!! And watermelon sorbet must taste so refreshing!!

  4. Those bars are just so perfect looking. They’re elegant and you cut them so nicely! I looooooove condensed milk, here we use it ofetn as the main ingredient of desserts, so I know I would love that semifredo! I bet that would be great with any kind of fruit sorbet, but it looks great with the red from the watermelon! Have a nice weekend!

  5. These would be such a refreshing treat after a wonderful summer day, like the one we had today. Creamy and sweet…delicious. I like the blue in the photo…goes really well with the bars.

  6. This looks awesome! I love watermelon and your picture is drool-worthy!

  7. dear vera
    thanks for passing by my blog..i loved you posts and this frozen watermelon lime bar is simply great ..i will try it for my son and see what he calls it!

  8. Linda, thank you very much! I have an annoying habit to buy more fruit (if it looks so great) than we actually need.

    Natalie, thank you! They are just easy to cut :) As for cutting bars in general, I always end up with about half size of the original slab – just keep leveling and evening and… eating all these cuts :)

    Christy, thank you. It was refreshing, you are right.

    Rita, thank you! I’m glad you like condensed milk. I, myself, probably ate too much of it during my childhood; my interest has cooled down significantly :)

    Camille, thank you very much!

    Cakebrain, thank you! We love it together :)

    Anamika, thank you! Please, let me know your son’s opinion :)

  9. This looks absolutely incredible! And refreshing. Great post.

  10. Tequila makes everything better. :)

    Lovely presentation, Vera. You did it again!

  11. This is so pretty, I’d love to have one, and I don’t even like watermelon!

    Wow, talk about some adorable food. You’re so good with color.

  12. what a perfect summer treat! i’m a huge fan of watermelon, but it’s hard to eat an entire beast by yourself before it turns. this is a great use for it! :)

  13. These are so cool :)…literally, they look so refreshing for a warm summer day! What an original way to use up the watermelon! :) …and you know I love the color, too!

  14. watermelon and tequila is genius! this looks so pretty..almost too sweet to eat :)

  15. these look and sound delicious, but i can’t help thinking they look like one of those mr. clean magic sponges, haha! great colors. :)

    (seen via tastespotting)

  16. this sounds and looks so amazing. we love watermelon and have been enjoying them all summer long. i have not even gotten around to make anything with them. but THIS really does look good!

  17. This looks so refreshing. I am always looking for ways to use up the leftover watermelon, after everyone is sick of eating. This sounds great for a labor day party summer dessert snack. Must try…

  18. I’m actually a lover of sweetened condensed milk, so I think this sounds so delicious!

  19. Oh wow! these look really good and refreshing. Watermelon is one of those foods I could never get sick of eating. Hahahaha!

  20. I’ve never seen anything like this…looks fantastic!

  21. Eileen, thank you very much!

    Dragon, thank you! You are so right about tequila :)

    Jacque, thanks so much! I’m flattered :)

    Grace, thank you. The best watermelons are the biggest ones :)

    Sophie, thank you. They were refreshing indeed.

    Diva, thank you. I loved the combination myself :)

    Alice, thanks. Now, when you mention I can see the resemblance :) They were smaller though :)

    Meeta, thank you very much!

    MangerLaVille, thanks a lot. I’ll be glad if you give it a try :)

    Deborah, thank you!

    Ivy, thanks. I can; it all depends on the size of the watermelon :)

    Melody, thank you very much! It tasted not bad either :)

  22. I looove watermelon. The only thing that might stop me from buying a huge watermelon is if it’s too heavy to carry all the way home. Watermelon and lime? A match made in heaven!

  23. Vera-How did you get your edges so perfect? I just recently bought a tiny watermelon at our market no bigger than a cantelope. Yet to crack it open but hopefully it will be good as we never have enough eaters to finish off a melon. Stunning photo, I love the simplicity.

  24. This sounds so refreshing.. I love the addition of tequila in the sorbet, how unique! :) I am one who could never get tired of watermelon. When I by it, I purchase two. We cut them into chunks and leave them in the fridge in a large bowl, it usually lasts two days.. that’s it! :)

  25. Y, nothing stops me, I usually drive :)

    Kim, it’s very easy to cut these. I just use a sharp 8-inch slicer. And thank you very much for the compliment.

    Laurie, I love the addition of tequila to everything :)
    You’ve got way more eaters in the house :)

  26. I was wondering what you could use other then tequila. My family does not drink a lot and I was wondering what other kind of alcohol would work or even if I could replace the alcohol all together.

  27. Emily, you can use white rum instead or just omit the alcohol altogether. The alcohol acts as an antifreeze preventing the ice cream from freezing rock hard, but it’s not absolutely necessary to add it.

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