Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Watermelon Rind Jam

Dear Folks,

Last week I saw an article on the internet about using more of the watermelon - works for me, I love using most of any food.  If it is plant-based I compost cast-off parts but if there is a fun, tasty or healthy way to eat I want to know about it.

Watermelon Rind has been one of those hmmm kind of things for me.  I have tried both candying and pickling it and it was "okay" but not something I want to do on a regular basis.

Also as I get more into really clean food, I want to use something either I have grown or purchased from farmers market where I know the growers.

Soooooo I had our final Black Tail Mountain watermelon sitting in the frig and decided to try making jam from the rind.

The basic recipe calls for skinning the rind, and here a comment in the referenced article said - why not use the skin also, so I did, doing my best to sliver it up.  NOTE TO SELF - when using a potato peeler on round objects - cut said objects into sections so you can actually get the peeler to cut into instead of sliding around like a balloon!

The first part of the picture is the ingredients displayed - the original recipe calls for sliced limes - I have limequats.

It is a simple jam recipe - mix, cook down, can.

After we tasted it I asked 'himself' (Deane) what he thought and while the jam was sweet, the watermelon flavor was illusive, but the rind proved too crunch for Deane to really enjoy the jam.  If I decide to make again, I will pre-boil the peel down to soft stage before adding to jam mix and proceeding with making the jam - or I may just leave it out

Unlike pickled or candied rind - I would make this again, just have something different in my jam pantry.

My Watermelon Rind Jam

8 cups diced white rind (1/2 Black Tail Mountain Watermelon rind chopped) Peel and sliver peel first
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 limequats seeded and slivered

Scoop out watermelon - a little "meat" is okay on the rind.  Cut into sections, and peel, slivering the peel.
Dice rind

In a glass bowl mix rind, peel, lime and sugar, cover and let sit overnight in the frig.

There will be a LOT of liquid as the sugar mascerates the rind (draws out the liquid)..

Pour all of it into your cooking pot and bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce to a medium simmer to cook off the liquid - you are looking for a thickened texture with most of the liquid cooked out.  Stir often and make sure you do not burn it - it takes about 35-50 minutes to reduce down.  You can mash down with a potato masher to create more texture contrasts, as the rind does stay more solid than other types of jam fruits.

If you are going to can get your canning equipment ready and the pot boiling.

I canned half pints for 12 minutes.  It made two - 8 ounce jars.

The original article is here.

The original article mentioned using all of the watermelon except the seeds.  STOP!  The seeds, like all melon and squash family members are edible.   Roasted them tossed with a bit of oil and salt, spread on baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for 30-60 minutes. Stir a couple of times and watch to not let them burn, you are looking for browned. Enjoy!

Using a watermelon seed to skin is something to consider and give a go at different ways to enjoy this beloved fruit.  (If the watermelon is an heirloom variety - don't forget to save some of the seeds for sowing next January.)

AND one more recipe idea using some of the melon fruit itself.  This recipe is called a pudding, but is more like a "lemon curd".  Also the recipe calls for seeding, crushing and straining the fruit to get ONLY the juice.  If I make this recipe I will use all of the pulp.  (Again, why discard anything!)

. . .

My recipe book is available in print or as a PDF

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady