From Penelope’s kitchen: A perfect dessert for entertaining


One of the real joys of the summer is watermelon.

Although Labor Day has already passed, farmstands in the area still have a plentiful supply. Here is an easy to prepare, refreshing dessert that can be made in advance and is excellent for entertaining. It uses Kirschwasser, which is a cherry liqueur. For an alcohol-free dessert, the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries can be substituted.

Watermelon gelatin
Serves 6

8 cups seedless watermelon
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Kirschwasser
3 tablespoons lime juice
4 packets unflavored gelatin powder
12 baby basil leaves or mint (garnish)
whipped cream as desired

Put watermelon, sugar, lime juice and kirsch into blender and purée. Put half the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Pour the remaining half into a large bowl and sprinkle gelatin powder on top.

Allow the powder to stand for a minute, then pour hot watermelon mixture into the bowl slowly.

Stir gently until gelatin dissolves.

Pour into non-stick 8-inch cake pan. Remove any foam from the top.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cut with plastic spatula, lifting carefully. Do not turn over the pan.

Serve with baby basil leaves (or mint) and top with whipped cream.