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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cantaloupe Jam

We had a fabulous melon season. Lots of very high quality melons were grown on our farm. But, sadly, not all the melons were sellable so when life gives you too many melons you eventually make jam (and freeze them as well but we already discussed that here on this blog).

I have had this melon jam idea in my head for a couple of years now but until a few weeks ago I did not get around to making such a jam.But faced with a growing amount of beginning to fester must be used ASAP and I already have filled the freezer with more than enough frozen melon I needed to do something so I looked around the web for a good melon jam recipe and found...none. Not a single melon jam recipe out there. I did find a couple preserve recipes but I had no interest in putting slices of melon into jars filled with a simple syrup. I wanted a real spreadable jam.

So I had to invent a recipe which I did. Fortunately the pectin box had a basic recipe for all jams which is 4 cups fruit, 4 cups sugar and pectin (and maybe some lemon juice). Since I had both regular pectin and low/no sugar pectin (and a lot of both) and a lot of melons I experimented. I found the best results with the low/no sugar pectin and around 6 to 7 cups of fruit an 2 cups of sugar. It had the best flavor, sugar to fruit ratio and set up well. The jam made with regular pectin always set up poorly, even when I paid attention to measurements and used exactly 4 cups of fruit, sugar, etc., etc..

I I used Organic sugar and regular cane sugar and found little difference in taste or how well the jam set up.

For flavoring I used salt and vanilla extract along with 1/4 cup of with either lemon or lime juice plus a TBL of butter which originally I used to keep the foaming to a minimum but used more butter because it added great flavor

so here is the master recipe
4 to 7 cups fruit processed to a smooth foam in a food processor (use only 4 if using regular pectin)
2 to 4 cups sugar
2 TBL vanilla extract
1 TBL butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 lime or lemon juice
1 pkg pectin

Prepare according pectin direction than fill hot jars that have been boiled for at least 10 minutes. put on lids and rings and than put in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from canner and put on a clean towel and let cool at least 12 hours. When cool remove rings, write on lid or label what's in the jar and the date and put in a cabinet.

5 comments:

seantimberlake said...

I'm the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It's sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I'd love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

Dani Meyer said...

Would love to have this in our permanent link ups if you were pleased with the recipe! We only allow additions to these link ups of tested recipes to help preserve the resource it will become. Hope you will join us! http://theadventurebite.com/homestead-resource-guide-link-ups/melon-recipes-and-preservation-tips/

Tom Kleffman said...

Jam! I had not thought of that. I am working on creating my own melon, and have been doing large grow outs for selection, and have had dozens of melons I reduced to fruit leather, which the kids will eat, but the jam idea is stellar! With all the lunches we make every year sending the kids to school with sandwiches, we go through a lot of jam and jellies, and it is always nice to add to the variety. Thanks for taking the time to work through a recipe. I will try it this year.

Patrick lawson said...

Lucy if you mix your pectin with a cup of sugar before adding it will not clump.
I added Trinidad scorpion peppers to your recipe and it came out great. I also use 2 pks of pectin sets much better.
Patrick

Patrick lawson said...

Lucy
I used 2 pks of pectin and mixed it with a cup of sugar before adding to boiling mix. This keeps the pectin from clumping and the extra package assured a good set.
I also added Trinidad Scorpion Peppers which gave it a hellava kick. Really great on chicken wings.
Patrick