Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer in a Jar

When you think of summer, what fruit comes to mind most often?  Usually it's watermelon.  And what do you do when you find yourself with 3 watermelons that are bigger than your corning ware serving platter?  Especially since they would go sour before you could eat all of them?

Two words.  Watermelon Jam/Jelly.

Now don't look at me like that, it's possible, it's good and I have spent all day working on it!  Since this can be called either jam or jelly I'll let you decide what to call it for yourself, but I will tell you how to make it.

First lets start with the melons.  The obvious question is 'how?".  Actually for me there were a few more colorful explicatives added to that when I was researching how to make this stuff because everything I found started with watermelon cubes that had already been deseeded.  So how did they do that?  I certainly can't even fathom so here's what I did.
Hack melon in half, then into quarters, save out a quarter for eating, then slice as far down as you want so that you can get all the melon off the rind.  I took a nice long knife and sliced the melon right off the rind into a bowl, I didn't make them pretty little squares or anything, just sliced the melon off.  Once the melon is done or the bowl is full, whichever comes first, hack at it a bit with the knife then take a potato masher to the hunks.  This gets the juices going.  I then pulled out my stick blender and finished attacking the contents of the bowl on LOW speed, since at least on my little crappy branded one I know that setting won't actually cut up the seeds.  Pour the slush through a colander to catch anything you missed with the masher or stick blender and the seeds.  You can attack this again with the stick blender to further extract more puree.

Continue this until you get through all of the melon meat.  For these 3 (2.75 actually), I'll say medium sized melons, I ended up with a whopping 4 gallons plus of pureed pulp.  Far more than I expected.  Now at this point you can save the rinds for making pickled watermelon rinds but... I have chickens, I like the fresh flavor of the eggs that goes with feeding them something other than straight feed, so they got all the rinds and trust me, there won't be any sign of them out there tomorrow, heck, maybe not even tonight.

So 4+ gallons of watermelon puree.... great googa-mooga.......

Watermelon Jelly/Jam

4 cups pureed watermelon meat, no seeds please
1/4 cup lemon juice, bottled please
1 package no sugar needed pectin
2 cups sugar

Heat watermelon puree and lemon juice to boiling, yes it smells different nothing to flip out over, add pectin and mix in really well.  Return to boil for 1 minute, add sugar, mix in really well, return to boil for 3 minutes.  Ladle into jars, cap, process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Makes about 6 half pints, about, you might have some left over for taste testing.  This will take about a day to set from what I understand, we'll see.

With as much as I had waiting on me I doubled the batches, yes I know this is a sin to the canning gods and snobs but I did it anyway.  Otherwise I'd sill be working on them!  I stopped after I ran out of sugar and I still had over a gallon of juice left.  I tossed it in the freezer and will attack it again after I go into town and replenish my stock of sugar and pectin.  So far I have ended up with 23 pints and 15 half pints just from 3 gallons of puree:


  1. You must be the jamming queen, I swear your piles get bigger with every batch! I do love some watermelon jelly though... reminds me of a jolly rancher but not hard! YUM!

  2. I'm gonna have to make this one of these days... looks & sounds great :)