This is an old-fashioned recipe and a wonderful way to reduce food waste. Watermelon rind preserves are not like traditional preserves that you buy in a grocery store. They are more like candied watermelon pieces in a cinnamon-spiced syrup. The watermelon pieces can be eaten plain or stirred into cakes and cookies, as you would use candied cherries, pineapple or citrus peel. Spoon the sweet syrup over warm buttered biscuits or stir it into hot or iced tea for sweetness. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin,
- 1-1/2 to 2 pounds watermelon rind
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 quarts warm water
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
- 7 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
image/svg+xml Text Ingredients View Recipe,
Trim green skin and pink flesh from watermelon rind; chop enough rind to yield 6 cups. In a large bowl, stir salt and 2 quarts warm water until salt is dissolved. Add 6 cups chopped rind. Cover and refrigerate 5-6 hours. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain. Cover rind with cold water and let stand 30 minutes. Drain. Transfer rind to a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until just tender, 10-15 minutes; drain.
To make preserves, in a stockpot, combine sugar, lemon juice and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in rind. Place cinnamon, cloves and cardamom on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose seasonings; tie securely with string. Add to stockpot. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until rind is clear, 30-45 minutes. Discard spice bag.
Remove from heat. Ladle hot mixture into 6 hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into canner with water simmering, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
2 tablespoons: 71 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.