Fellow Can Jammer Gloria of “Laundry etc” chose cucurbits as July’s focus for Tigress’ Can Jam. This includes crops like cucumbers, squashes, luffas, melons and watermelons. YAY, watermelons! We LOVE watermelons. I did some reading in my canning books and found a recipe for a watermelon jelly in my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Unfortunately, this jelly is too vinegary for my tastebuds. The watermelon flavor is definitely there, but the vinegar is too dominant. My kids who are watermelon addicts think the same. I think I should try this recipe again and just add less vinegar. To make sure the jelly has enough acidity for safe waterbath canning, I could just test the pH level. And until then, I have some watermelon jelly jars to give away ;o).
Zesty Watermelon Jelly
(adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)
- 6 cups chopped watermelon, rind removed
- 1/2 cup white balsamic, white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 4 tblsp lemon juice
- 5 cups granulated sugar (I used 3 cups)
- 1 stem lemongrass, chopped (I couldn’t find any lemongrass)
- 2 pouches (each 3 oz./85 ml) liquid pectin (I used 1 tsp of locust bean gum)
- In large stainless steel saucepan, crush watermelon with a potato masher. Cover and heat gently over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and crush thoroughly.
- Transfer to a dampened jelly bag or strainer lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth set over a deep bowl. Let drip, undisturbed for 2 hrs. Measure 2 cups watermelon juice. If you do not have the required amount, crush more watermelon, or add up to 1/4 cup unsweetened white grape juice.
- Meanwhile prepare canner, lids and jars.
- Transfer watermelon juice to a clean, large, stainless steel saucepan. Stir in vinegar, lemon juice,, sugar and lemongrass. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.
- Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
- Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for ten minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait five minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.