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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Watermelon Jam

Watermelon is a wonderful summer treat that is often overlooked when preserving.  However, watermelon can be used to make wine, jam, jelly, frozen in cubes for smoothies and dried as chunks or purée for homemade fruit roll-ups.  Once the sweet flesh of the watermelon is used the rinds can be pickled.  Watermelons tend to be quite inexpensive if you don't grow them.  New seedless varieties lend themselves nicely to all of these applications.  One watermelon will yield about a gallon bag of cubes for freezing, 3 - 500 ml (pint) jars of jam and about 4 - 500 ml (pint) jars of watermelon rind pickles.  Drying watermelon takes a bit longer due to the higher water content but is well worth doing.  The end result is a delicious natural candy!  There is very little waste when preserving watermelon.

Over the years I have tinkered with making watermelon jam.  My first attempt was edible but too sweet because it used regular pectin and 7 c of sugar!  It never did gel up nicely so was used for an ice cream topping.  It has been quite some time since I have used regular pectin.  Instead I use Pomona's pectin which is a low methoxy pectin that does not depend on sugar for gelling.  My watermelon jam experiments have been considerably more encouraging using this pection while avoiding the long cook methods of old.

Pictured is this the first of year's watermelon jam experiments that gave a yield of 3 - 500 ml (pint) jars.  I ran 3 different jams that day so in comparison once the jars cooled the watermelon jam was still a bit runnier than desired but with Pomona's pectin it can take a few days for the jam to tighten right up.  The following day the jam had gelled more so the result is a thin spread that would be good as is or as a thicker topping for cream cheese or ice cream.   I suspect it will thicken up a bit more yet. 

Watermelon Jam

4 c prepared watermelon
2 c organic sugar
¼ c organic, preservative free lemon juice
2 tsp Pomona's pectin*
2 tsp calcium water

Wash the outside of the watermelon.  Cut into quarters then cut each quarter into 1 - inch pieces.  Cut flesh from the rind reserving the rind if making pickles.  Chop watermelon in food processor measuring out 4 cups.    Pour prepared watermelon into large saucepan.  Mix in lemon juice and calcium water.  In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and pectin well.  Bring the fruit mixture to a boil.  Stir in the sugar/pectin mixture.  Return to a low boil cooking and stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Ladle into hot jars.  Secure the two piece lids.  Process in BWB canner for 10 minutes or adjusted timing according to altitude adjustment chart for your altitude (please see canning information tab).

Yield: 3 - 500 ml (pint) jars

*Pomona's pectin is a low methoxy pectin.  Do not substitute with other powdered pectins in this recipe.


8 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

That's great! How do you heat your jars and lids? Just curious. I saw something the other day for heating lids. Don't remember where I saw it but I wish I had bought it.
Oh well, memory like a sieve, haha.

Have a great day! :)

Jennifer said...

Oh, my kids would LOVE this. They adore watermelon. I'll definitely have to try it out.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Linda :) I put the hot jars from the dishwasher into the BWB canner with hot water to keep them hot until filling. I heat the rings and lids in a pan on the stove. The lids no longer need boiling for 5 minutes as the plastisol seal has changed so even pouring boiling water over them is sufficient.

Enjoy your day :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Jennifer :) I hope you enjoy the jam!

Garden Gnome said...

Oh dear, I sent that too soon. Jennifer if you try the jam please let me know how you like it.

Donald said...

looks good, will have to try that one, but what is calcium water?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Donald :) Calcium water is made with monocalcium phosphate that comes with Pomona's pectin. It is needed for the gel.

carey said...

great recipe! can't wait to try it. I've been making watermelon preserves since i was a teen. my cajun grandmother used to send us jars of it along with her fig and blackberry preserves. i learned from her to put a few slices of lemon rind in it and a clove or two for added flavor. of course, this was the high sugar/regular pectin type, and was very, very sweet, but so delicious. so where do you get pomona pectin?