Sunday, August 15, 2010

Watermelon Rind Jelly

I know what you are thinking. . .watermelon rind jelly should be green. How can the jelly shown be watermelon rind? I will get into that shortly.

First I want to give you the recipe I used.

4 cups of chopped pale watermelon rind (cut off dark green outer rind)
4 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp powder ginger
3T lemon juice
1 pkg (2 oz) powder pectin
Green food coloring (optional)

Makes approximately 2 pints per batch. I made a quadruple batch and ended up with 9 pints and 1 smaller refrigerator jar (jelly jar size).

Blend chopped pale green watermelon rind to a puree. Transfer to a large pot or stock pot. Add sugar, ginger, and lemon juice. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil. Let simmer 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure you do not burn the bottom. Meanwhile, clean and sterilize your canning jars in a hot water bath. Add green food coloring if you prefer. Add one drop at a time to achieve desired color. Add powdered pectin and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat once pectin has dissolved. Burning the pectin will render it useless. Skim foam from the top of sauce. Spoon hot jelly mix into hot and sterile jars. Seal with rings and lids. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

As with most things. . .I improvised based on what I had and what I wanted for the end product. When preparing the watermelon rinds I did not cut off the little bit of pink fruit that remains when chopping watermelon. This added to the pink color of my jelly. Also, I was short 1 package of pectin in my quadruple batch. In it's place I added 1 box of sugar free strawberry jello mix.  I typically make my jams with jello mix so I do not anticipate this to be a problem in this jelly. The strawberry jello also added to the bright red color of my jelly. With that said, I quite like the color the resulted from my recipe deviations. In subsequent recipes I think I will reduce the sugar content by 1 cup. The taste tests of this batch of jelly was quite sweet. Sweeter than I prefer. I know my kids will love it, but in the future I will only add 3 cups of sugar per batch of this jelly. Lastly, I did not process these in a hot water bath. Shame on me I know. I do not hot water bath my other jam and jelly recipes so I know these jars will be just fine. Also, 9 pints do not fit in a standard water bath pot so to save time, water, and energy I decided to go with what I am used to; not processing my jellies.

Please let me know if you try this recipe. . .I'd love to read about your experiences.

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