Watermelon Rind Sweet Pickles

Louisiana Watermelon Festival Recipe

  • 2 pounds watermelon rind
  • Limewater made from 1 quart water and 5 tablespoons lime (calcium hydroxide)
  • 1 quart cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 pounds sugar (5 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 6 small pieces stick cinnamon
  • 1 ounce green ginger root may be added if desired

Pare and remove all green portions from watermelon rind. Cut it in the desired shape and size and soak for 2 or 3 hours in the limewater. Drain the watermelon rind. Cover it with cold water and let freshen for 2 hours. Cover it with cold water and cook for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain the watermelon. Cover with a weak vinegar (1 cup in 2 cups water) and allow to stand overnight. Discard the liquid next morning and make a syrup of the remaining 3 cups of vinegar, 1 cup of water, sugar and spice. Heat the syrup to 180° F. (simmering). Cover and let stand for 1 hour so the syrup will acquire the flavor of the spice. Add the drained watermelon and cook gently for 2 hours, or until the syrup is almost as thick as preserve syrup. Let stand until cold, pack in jars and process for 15 minutes at simmering temperature.

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