Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Putting Up The Sweets Canning Watermelon Jam


Watermelon Jam

My goodness this is so Good!! I'd been searching for ways to save and preserve for quite awhile as I've watched our watermelon patch go crazy this year. Watermelons are everywhere out there and my mind was racing with thoughts of making this a valuable food source during those winter months

Of course many of you have already heard about my Popsicle craze. Let me tell you tho...my Granddaughter absolutely loves them! I got even more creative and blended dewberries in them that I had put up in the freezer from some earlier spring pickings. Then I blended some Plain Whole Greek God Yogurt in them with a little squirt of Agave Nectar. 

Now I need to buy more molds! I know I could make my own, but the Grands love the sippy straws and frankly so do I because of the melt drips. What a easy fun way to preserve summers delights. 

Sweet Jubilee 

So I decided to go a step further with canning up the watermelon jam. I found a whole bunch of recipes for making it several places, but the most trustworthy one I found at Food In Jars. After reading how they made it and all of the comments that fans had posted I felt sure I could do this.

I did not find the need to alter it in anyway what so ever. Although I kind of chuckled when I read comments from people who wasn't looking for the Watermelon Jolly Rancher Candy flavor. All I could think was if I could actually achieve that candy flavor in a jar my family would be extremely happy. Who doesn't love Watermelon Jolly Rancher Candy in the South? 

I'm going to go ahead and give you the run down on the basic recipe, but I did do a couple of things to try to guarantee a decent good set for this jam. 

First, make sure you have a candy thermometer or even a meat thermometer will work as long as the temperature goes up to 220 degrees. That is the peek of perfection for the jam.

I still put two saucers in the freezer. The reason for this is to test the jam before you remove it from the heat. 

Once the jam reaches the 220 degree mark, grab a saucer out of the freezer and put a spoonful in the middle of the dish. Watch what it does, if it is really runny let the jam boil a little longer. Then test it again with your second saucer. If it begins to jell up it is done.

 This was also my opportunity to taste it while I stuck my finger in it on the saucer. YUM!!

Have some fun with varieties of heirloom colored flesh too!

The Basic Recipe
Makes 5 to 6 Half pint jars

6 cups pureed watermelon (remove any seeds prior to pureeing)
5 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1 packet powdered pectin

Be sure to use the powdered pectin. After all the research I did, I had seen many caners having problems trying to use liquid pectin.

You really don't want to cut back on the sugar here. That is what helps it thicken and preserve it. I made mine in 1/2 pint jars because this jam is going to be considered a treat for special occasions. I can see it making an awesome dipping sauce combined with some other ingredients to use for dipping homemade egg rolls. 

Directions

Prepare your canning jars and lids. Canning jars should be boiled and bands and lids in hot water, just to before it reaches boil.

Crack open that watermelon and start in the middle section where there are less seeds. Cut out chunks and put them in a large bowl to get ready to blend it up in either a food processor or blender. 

Make sure you take out all of the seeds as you get nearer the rind where they are usually plentiful. After it is all blended measure out the 6 cups needed into your non reactive pot.

Note: Do not double this recipe and actually the wider your stainless steel pot is the better it will cook. 

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and the pectin. Add this to your pot along with the lemon juice. 

Bring to a good rolling boil. It took mine almost 30 minutes to reach 220 degrees. It seemed as though it wanted to stay at around 117 degrees for quite awhile, but you can see the difference in the reaction of the boil when it reached the mark.Next time I probably won't need to use the thermometer after seeing what it does.

Do your frozen saucer test before you remove it from the heat. Do two saucer tests if need be. Once it has jelled on the saucer it is done. Fill your jars. Make sure you wipe the rims clean with a paper towel and then put on the lids and screw bands. 

Place the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Give this a chance to fully set. Sometimes it can take up to one or two weeks before it is fully set. So patients are needed while waiting.

Happy Gardening and Happy Preserving!!
Pammy

18 comments:

  1. nice posting. thanks for sharing

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  2. You are AWESOME Pammy!! I think this will be this summers canning 'project'.

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    1. It's all so fun Tina!!! Keep me posted please =D xox

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  3. I think I can actually do this after reading your directions! Thanks for sharing this!

    Sharon

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    1. Oh you can do this Sharon!!! If you need any help just let me know xox

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  4. The color of the jam is so pretty. Have you made any watermelon rind pickles?

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    1. I love the color of the jam too! I've considered the pickles but I think I need to taste some first. I guess the sweets is my thing LOL ;)

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    2. I grew up on watermelon rind pickles, they were such a great treat! They are on the very sweet side though so you would really love them! Give it a try!

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  5. I will just enjoy looking at your watermelon jam from the 'Burgh. I think tomorrow I will start making Cinnamon Basil Jelly because some of my Certo expires on MONDAY! I try not to let it expire! Thanks for your nice comments about the pineapple sage jelly. If you use vinegar as an accent, Pammy, it will be good with meats. If you use lemon juice, it will be good with sweet items such as thumbprint cookies. It is really one of my favorite jellies and I don't have enough pineapple sage! It is just ridiculous! My pineapple sage does look like it is going to sprout new shoots. So I can only hope we don't have an early frost! I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading my blog. xxoo Nancy

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    1. Thanks for letting me know about the vinegar verses the lemon juice Nancy!! I may try some of both. I love the cinnamon basil too! I always use it in my breads and tomato sauces. I've got my eyes on your herbal jelly recipes! It's great studying for someone whose had good practice with it. I wonder how the Lemon Basil would be? I just love how it smells like lemon drop candy fresh. Love your blog xox

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  6. This looks fantastic, I have 2 whole watermelons to cut up today, I'm going to pickle the rind, and make jam with the rest:-) I've made a jelly previously, but had a terrible time getting it to set, the jam looks like a much better option.

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    1. Hi Jane!! Oh you will have to share your pickle recipe. I do want to try that this summer too!! Enjoy the Jam...and even if the jam does not set entirely....it is so delicious for making sauces too!! xxoo

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  7. Question: What if you don't use the pectin or anything else but sugar to the recipe, plus, is everything OK if there are bubbles coming up from the "processing"?

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    1. I've never tried it with just the sugar. Please let me know how yours comes out. The bubbles should be fine. It is getting watermelon season here again...I can't wait to make more!!

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  8. I just made 15 half pints of strawberry jam and I was debating trying to make some using watermelon. I even considered strawberry/watermelon jam. I am going to definitely try it out....Thanks

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  9. Oh please do let me know how yours turns out if you combine with strawberries!! YUMMY Scott!!

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  10. I Made some Two Weeks Ago And It Still Hasn't Set.
    Did I Do Something Wrong

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    1. Hi Mary, Try giving it a little more time. Check the dates on your pectin to be sure it is current. I had a batch not set all the way due to out dated pectin. I still used it for making sauces and dips...was delicious.

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