Watermelon Rind Preserves

  • 1 watermelon rind
  • salt
  • water
  • ground ginger or cinnamon stick and cloves
  • lemon
  • sugar
  • jars
  • canning lids and rings

Step 1:  Peel off all green portions of outer rind and all red melon, leaving only the white rind. Cut in strips about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Measure in quarts. Soak in cold salted water about 6 hours or overnight. For salt solution, use 1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon of water.

Step 2:  Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Mix 2 teaspoons ground ginger in each quart of water and barely cover melon rind. Cook until fork tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Do not overcook.

Step 3:  For each 2 quarts of raw prepared rind, make a syrup using 5 cups sugar, 3 cups water, 1 lemon, sliced (seeds removed). Boil syrup 5 minutes; add precooked rind and boil gently until preserves are clear and translucent (about 1 1/4 hours). If syrup becomes too thick before rind is clear, thin by adding a small amount of boiling water.

Step 4:  Fill hot, sterilized jars with preserves and syrup to within 1/2 inch of top. Wipe sealing edge clean, and put on new lids prepared according to manufacturer’s instructions. Seal, cover with boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and place on towel away from drafts.

Variation:  For a great flavor, but darker color, use cinnamon and cloves instead of ginger. Use above proportions with these changes: Precook in clear water (no ginger).  To syrup, add 2 sticks cinnamon and 1 teaspoon whole cloves tied in clean thin white cloth. Remove spice bag before filling jars.

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