Summer Melon Jams

Does anything scream summer more than watermelon?

This week at my favorite grocery store, Meijer’s, they are selling seeded and seedless watermelons for $2.99 each. I prefer the ones with seeds, while hubby enjoys the seedless, so I bought both. I knew there was no way we’d finish two whole watermelons before they spoiled, but I had a plan.

Last summer I made Watermelon Jelly for the first time. It was one of the most unusual tasting jellies I’d ever made and quickly became a favorite in our family. I decided then that I wanted to try to come up with some new variations of jams/jellies using watermelon. With watermelon such a good price, today was the day.

This morning I decided to make two jams of my own design. Having made so many jams and jellies this past year, coming up with my own combinations of ingredients was not that difficult. Plus, using Clear Jel I don’t have to worry about the jam setting. Last year I had to redo the watermelon jelly three times, adding more pectin each time in order to get it to set. With Clear Jel I did it once and was done.

One thing I truly believe when cooking is to use what you have. So today I worked with a variety of melons and kiwi, as they were both on the kitchen counter. These are the results.

Summer Melon Jam

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1 1/2 Cups Honeydew Melon Pulp
1 1/2 Cups Cantaloupe Melon Pulp
2 Cups Watermelon Pulp
4 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
7 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 1/2 Cup Water

  • Remove melons from rind, seed, and run through food processor. Combine melon pulp in large stock pot.

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  • Add sugar and Clear Jel slurry.

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  • Bring to boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.
  • Ladle into hot jars, apply lids, and seal. Boil in water bath for 10 minutes.

This jam is very sweet. I might consider using only 3 cups of sugar next year. The watermelon flavor is the most intense but still not overbearing and the consistency is spreadable, not runny.

Watermelon-Kiwi Jam

2 Cups Watermelon Pulp
3 Kiwi, chopped
2 Cups Sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp. Clear Jel dissolved in 1/4 Cup Water

  • Combine all ingredients in large stock pot.

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  • Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the kiwi to cook and soften. Do not boil.
  • Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil hard for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and let stand five minutes.
  • Ladle into hot jars, apply lids, and seal. Boil in water bath for 10 minutes.

This jam is not as sweet as the Summer Melon and the combination of the watermelon and the kiwi gives it a unique refreshing flavor.

I absolutely love coming up with new recipes to can, especially when I find the ingredients for a good price. A wave of storms blew through last night, breaking the humidity and making it tolerable to run the stove long enough to make two batches of new jams, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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