Red Jam: Watermelon

1 10 2009
Wee sweet watermelon
Image by Kodamakitty via Flickr

Okay, I’ll say it out loud — one of the foods that eased me through every chemo regimen was watermelon. Winter, summer, fall, spring; whether on oxaliplatin (nothing cold) or Folfiri (everything tasted like aluminum foil) — there was one food that always tasted like food, kept me hydrated and got me over the hump between days 2 and 5 in infusion weeks…watermelon. And Taco Bell tacos (but that’s another post in another blog!)

The last of the fresh local watermelon is now in central New York supermarkets — and I thought I’d try to make watermelon jam to save a bit of summer. The recipe I tried is from an Indian foods blog written by Chandrika and called AkshayaPatra. Chandrika’s recipe makes a very small batch, although it can easily be doubled. Just remember that jam recipes are proportional: for each 2 lbs. of fruit pulp, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.

I used what Wegmans calls a ‘personal watermelon’ — a perfect dark green sphere less than 8″ diameter, seedless and organic. The jam is thick, brilliant red. This recipe makes about 1 cup (the watermelon will cook down quite a bit.)

Watermelon Jam

2lbs watermelon pulp (remove pulp from rind and seed the chunks)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest (zest from about half a lime)

  • Remove the watermelon pulp from the ring and cut it into chunks. Seed the melon if seeds are present.
  • Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, and stir into the melon pulp.
  • Stir the lime juice, zest and sugar-cinnamon into the melon. Simmer about 15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved in the juice. To help break down the melon pulp, mash it in the saucepan with an immersion blender.
  • Continue to to simmer the melon-sugar mixture until it thickens and easily coats the back of a metal spoon. You can also test the jam for consistency using a spoonful of jam placed onto a very cold (frozen) plate.
  • Ladle the hot jam into sterilized jam jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner according to USDA directions for canning. Alternately, allow the jam to cool in the containers and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freezer for up to a year.

Makes about 1 cup or two half-cup containers of jam.

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