Watermelon Preserves

posted by mindy 08-03-100 12:28 PM

Watermelon Preserves

watermelon peel (try and choose peel that has a thick white part)
1 kg. (2 lbs.) sugar per 1 kg. (2 lbs.) peel
2 litres water per 1 kg. (2 lbs.) sugar
20 ml. (4 tsp.) lemon juice per 1 kg. (2 lbs.) peel
pinch salt
2 pieces bruised ginger per 1 kg. (2 lbs.) fruit

Soaking Solution:
25 ml. (5 tsp.) slaked lime per 5 litres water or 45 ml. (9 tsp.) bicarbonate of soda per 5 litres water

Cut the melon into 1 inch slices and remove and discard the soft flesh. Pare off and discard the hard, green rind. Cut the remaining peel into squares and prick well on both sides. Weigh the peel

Soak the peel in the lime or bicarb solution for 12-18 hours. Rinse the peel thoroughly and soak in fresh water for two hours. Drain

Place the pieces, one at a time, in boiling water, and boil, uncovered, until just tender. Test by piercing the peel with a matchstick.

Prepare the syrup. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice, salt and ginger in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil as soon as all the sugar has dissolved. Place the peel in the boiling syrup and boil rapidly until the pieces are tender and translucent and the syrup thick. Pack into hot, dry, sterilized bottles, fill the bottles with syrup and seal immediately.

Note: The fruit may also be boiled in syrup over a period of a few days. Boil for 30 minutes on the first day and leave to cool. The next day, remove the fruit from the syrup and bring the syrup to the boil. Add pieces of peel one by one and boil for 30-40 minutes. Repeat the process the following day but then boil until ready for bottling.

Green pawpaw and sweet melon preserves may be made using the same method.

Candied peel
500 g. (1 lb.) peel
1 litre water
500 g .(1 lb.) sugar
1 ml. cream of tartar

Wash the fruit, prick and cut into pieces, Soak the fruit overnight in a slaked lime solution(25ml. (5 tsp.) per 5 litres water) to make the fruits crisp. The following day, drain and rinse the fruit well.

Stew the fruit in the l litre boiling water until it is just tender. Strain the stewing water and use 750 ml. with the 500 g. sugar to prepare the syrup. Add the cream of tartar.

Bring the syrup to the boil and gradually add the fruit to the boiling syrup. Boil for 30 minuess. Leave in the syrup until the following day.

Remove the fruit from the syrup, bring the syrup to the boil and then replace the fruit. Boil again for 30 minutes. Repeat this process for 5-6 days, until the fruit is completely saturated with syrup. Drain and leave on a wire rack for a few days to dry. Turn frequently so that it can dry on all sides.

The recipe is quite involved but really worth the effort.

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