You might be wondering what happened to the rest of our watermelon surplus. You know, the 1 1/2 watermelons that were left after we made popsicles. Let’s just say they are now jarred and jiggly versions of their former selves.
Maybe it’s the fact that I missed the majority of the canning season this year. But as the summer dwindled I was prepared to stick just about anything in a jar. And watermelon just happened to be one of those things.
Apparently it’s not that common, because I couldn’t really find a tested recipe for it. So I improvised, using a basic recipe for mint jelly on the pectin pack (I figured watermelon juice couldn’t be any different than minty water, and substituting it would be fine).
So I now I have all these little jars of sunset-colored jelly. And no clue what to do with it. Since it is such an unusual preserve, I’m stumped. What would YOU do with it? Most creative idea just might win a jar from me.
Yield: 6 to 7 (4-oz) jars
2 cups watermelon juice (from about 1 small or 1/2 large watermelon)
3 tablespoons fresh or bottle lemon juice
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin
To make watermelon juice, roughly chop watermelon. You'll need about 6 cups of chopped melon to produce about two cups of juice. Run melon through a food mill (if you have one), or crush and then strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds or pulp.
Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 8 4-ounce canning jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use.
Combine watermelon juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a 6 to 8-quart nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a full roiling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) over high heat, stirring constantly.
Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean and top with lid; screw on ring until finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 7 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.