Home Miscellaneous Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

by Adina 19/08/2017 13 comments

watermelon rind jam glossy

 

What to do with watermelon rind or peel? Aromatic and sweet watermelon rind jam or candied watermelon rind.

 

After making Homemade Blueberry Sauce, Low-Sugar Apricots in Jars, Simple Apricot Jam, Homemade Creme de Cassis or Black Currant Liquor and many others, I finally got to making some delicious watermelon rind jam or candied watermelon rind in syrup.

 

watermelon rind peel jam Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

 

WATERMELON RIND JAM OR CANDIED WATERMELON RIND

OK, I am sure you will not make watermelon rind jam out of all the watermelons you get to eat in the summer, but taking the time to do this at least once or twice, it’s really worth it.

You will love these sweet, jewel-like pieces of watermelon rind, you will probably not be able to eat half a jar in one go, but you will be delighted with a moderate amount of it on your toast or just being able to pop a small piece of candied watermelon rind in your mouth whenever you crave something sweet.

One piece of candied watermelon rind and you will forget about chocolate, gummy bears or candy or whatever sweets you normally cannot resist. At least it works for me, but I was never much into chocolate, gummy bears or candy… πŸ™‚

This is the best time of the year to eat lots of watermelons and make some watermelon jam with those leftover rinds that fill up your bin.

I remember my grandmother coming home in summer with a large watermelon, putting it in the fridge and us eating it ice cold on the next day, huge slices looking like a smiley with bad teeth, black seeds which we would spit on a large plate, juice running down our arms, that fresh feeling in the mouth and throat during those long hot summer days.

 

watermelon rind candied Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

 

And I remember the mountains and mountains of watermelons at the market, the sellers inviting you to chose one from the heap, then slicing a triangle out of the watermelon, thrusting the long rusty knife into the triangle and offering it to you to try. If you didn’t like it, you would chose another watermelon and he would repeat the procedure until you found one that was just as sweet as you wanted it.

But to tell you the truth, I rarely had to turn down the first watermelon I tried, they are all so good, ripened in the sun, juicy and sweet, there is nothing you could find fault with. But I remember my grandmother turning down quite a few watermelons in her time… I was always so embarrassed and walked away… πŸ™‚

 

watermelon rind jam Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

 

HOW TO MAKE CANDIED WATERMELON RIND OR WATERMELON RIND JAM?

Well, the process is easy but it involves a few steps and a bit of chopping. But like I’ve said it before, it is well worth it!

The result will be a jam the likes of you probably never had before, unless you’re Romanian and grew up on a thing called β€œdulceata”, which is some kind of jam, but quite different from the regular jam you are used to. I think you will love those rather firm watermelon rind pieces surrounded by that sweet and heavy syrup.

Dulceata or β€œsweetness” is a kind of preserve made with whole fruits (in this case the chopped watermelon rind) boiled in a lot of sugar, normally on a 1:1 ratio, until the liquid becomes a clear syrup surrounding those glossy fruit or fruit pieces.

As dulceata is way sweeter than regular jam, you will only need a small amount of it on your buttered toast, for instance. And the fruit can be used not only to eat as it is, you can also put it into cakes, stir it into desserts and so on.

I remember reading about a traditional way of eating dulceata a long time ago in Romania. I don’t even remember in which book I have read about that (for those Romanian people out there – it might have been Caragiale, but I would not swear it), but a long time ago people used to serve their guests a small bowl of dulceata and some really cold water when they came to visit.

I still have the image in my mind, a rich household from the 19th century, with gorgeous sofas, armchairs and carpets and people sitting around a low, small table eating dulceata out of small bowls, drinking ice cold water and chatting politely. πŸ™‚

But back to the jam or candied watermelon rind, I kind of lost it here…

 

watermelon rind jam Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

 

  • Remove the red flesh of the watermelon, leaving only one very thin layer of red flesh attached to the rind, about 2 mm/ 0.08 inches. Remove the green skin of the watermelon completely.
  • Make sure to leave a tiny amount of red watermelon flesh attached to the rind pieces you want to use for the jam. It makes things prettier, however you don’t want to leave too much of it attached, I would say about 2 mm/ 0.08 inches.
  • Remove the green skin as well and chop the rind as evenly as possible, about 3-4 cm/ 1.2-1.6 inches.
  • You should weigh the watermelon rind now and prepare more if necessary, you will need roughly 750 – 850 g/ 1.7 – 1.9 lbs, weighed after preparing the rind. If you don’t have enough, prepare some more.
  • Cook the watermelon rind pieces in water and vinegar, this step takes about an hour, but it is a necessary step. The vinegar will help the watermelon rind pieces hold their shape and not get soggy.
  • After cooking the watermelon rind in vinegar, let drain well. When cool enough to handle, press with your hand to remove more of the excess water.
  • Weigh the drained and pressed watermelon pieces. You will need exactly the same amount of  sugar as the rind weighs, so 1 to 1 ratio. You will have more or less 500 g/ 1.1 lbs of watermelon rind pieces.
  • Place the sugar in the rinsed pot you used before.
  • Add 250 ml/ 8.5 fl. oz/ 1 cup water to the sugar and turn on the heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When the syrup comes to a boil, add the watermelon rind and the lemon juice.
  • Cook until a light syrup forms, it took me exactly 38 minutes.
  • Give thewatermelon rind jam to the sterilized jars and seal well. Keep in a dark cool place. If the jars are sterilized and well sealed the jam should be good for a very long time.

For more info on sterilizing jars, have a look at this post explaining how to sterilize jars.

HOW LONG TO COOK CANDIED WATERMELON

The most difficult thing for me when making dulceata is finding the perfect time to stop the cooking process. If the jam is cooked too shortly, the syrup will not form properly and the jam will be runny.

If you overcook the jam, the syrup will taste too much like caramel and become too hard, I had to throw away a whole batch of cherry dulceata because I was not even able to stick a spoon in the finished and cooled product…

*However, to make it easier for you, I measured the cooking time exactly and considering you will follow the instructions and use a pot that has roughly the same size as mine, you should be able to stop the cooking process at the right time.

I used a soup pot with a diameter of 23 cm/ 9 inches and a height of 14 cm/ 5.5 inches. Of course, I don’t expect you to have the exact same pot or to buy one extra for this, but a similar sized one will help you with keeping the indicated cooking time better.

If your pot is wider, start checking if the syrup is formed before the indicated time is over, if your pot is narrower it might take a bit longer. The syrup should have more of less the consistency of runny clear honey.

 

watermelon rind Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

The source of this recipe is Silvia Jurcovan’s Cookbook. I only made half a batch and got 2 Β½ small jars.

And what to do with this candied watermelon rind or watermelon rind jam? Except from eating it as it is? Why not try putting some in a fruitcake, either a regular boozy fruitcake or a non-alcoholic fruitcake.

By the way, the next two weeks on Where is My Spoon will be dedicated to preserving. More on that on Monday.

 

watermelon rind marmalade 200x200 Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

Watermelon Rind Jam or Candied Watermelon Rind in Syrup

Yield: 2-3 small jars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

What to do with watermelon rind or peel? Aromatic and sweet watermelon rind jam or candied watermelon rind.

Ingredients

  • 750 – 850 g/ 1.7 – 1.9 lbs watermelon rind, weighed after preparing it
  • granulated sugar, about 500 g/ 1.1 lbs (depending on how much cooked rind you have)
  • 1 liter/ 34 oz/ 4.2 cups water
  • 150 ml/ 5 oz/ 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • the juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Remove the red flesh of the watermelon, leaving only one very thin layer of red flesh attached to the rind, about 2 mm/ 0.08 inches. Remove the green skin of the watermelon completely.
  2. Chop the watermelon rind into even pieces of about 3-4 cm/ 1.2-1.6 inches. You should weigh the watermelon rind now and prepare more if necessary.
  3. Place 1 liter/ 34 oz/ 4.2 cups water and the vinegar in a pot with the diameter of approximately 23 cm/ 9 inches and a height of 14 cm/ 5.5 inches (*See the marked paragraph above).
  4. Bring to a boil, add the watermelon rind and let cook for about an hour or a bit more until the rind pieces are glossy and somehow transparent. It is a necessary step, the vinegar will help the watermelon rind pieces hold their shape and not get soggy.
  5. Drain in a sieve, refresh with cold water and, when cool enough to handle, press with your hand to remove more of the excess water.
  6. Weigh the watermelon rind again. You should have more or less 500 g/ 17.6 oz cooked rind. Set aside.
  7. Measure the sugar, you should take the same amount of sugar as you have of cooked watermelon rind, so about 500 g/ 1.1 lbs.
  8. Place the sugar in the rinsed pot you used before. Add 250 ml/ 8.5 oz/ 1 cup water to the sugar and turn on the heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When the syrup comes to a boil, add the watermelon rind and the lemon juice.
  9. Cook until a light syrup forms, it took me exactly 38 minutes, but like I have mentioned above, the cooking time depends on the size of the pot as well. I used a soup pot with a diameter of 23 cm/ 9 inches and a height of 14 cm/ 5.5 inches.
  10. If your pot has a similar size the time should be OK, if your pot is wider the cooking time will probably be shorter, if your pot is narrower the cooking time will probably with be a bit longer. The finished syrup should be light in color and have more or less the consistency of clear runny honey.
  11. Give the jam to the sterilized jars and seal well. Keep in a dark cool place. If the jars are sterilized and well sealed the jam should be good for a very long time.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1 small jar
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 747 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 6mg Carbohydrates: 191g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 185g Protein: 2g
Nutritional information is not always accurate.

 

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13 comments

Anca 19/08/2017 - 14:49

I love watermelon jam. My mother used to make it and I’ve made it myself a few times. It’s nice to have something different, that can’t be bought from a supermarket shelf. Your jam looks amazing! x

Reply
Chris Scheuer 22/08/2017 - 00:16

Very unique and delicious looking!

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Rosa 22/08/2017 - 07:45

Your post made me chuckle!! Too funny. πŸ™‚ Watermelon was always part of every meal when I was growing up. My grandmother also chilled it in the fridge and it was the most perfect treat for those hot summer days in my grandparents’ backyard or at the beach. πŸ™‚ I have never heard of preserving the rind of a watermelon but it sounds delightful! I have never preserved fruit (I mostly like to bake with it) but I will give this recipe the next time we eat it. Thanks for sharing!

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Millie 14/01/2018 - 19:59

This tastes very yummy. Thank you for sharing the recipe, it is also nice if you add a little bit of ginger or add pineapple pieces when you cook it

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Adina 14/01/2018 - 20:40

Hi Millie. Thank you for your feedback and suggestions, I will keep them in mind for next summer. πŸ˜ƒ

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Kittie 17/10/2018 - 17:52

You’re doing it wrong. Pare the thick dark green part off the rind and leave a wee bit of pink meat on the white part. Chop evenly, toss into a pot. Cover with sugar until it turns to water THEN start cooking it. No need for vinegar and multiple steps. Cook until the syrup forms a thread then transfer into heated canning jars. Close tightly and let the heat form a vacuum seal. Cool and store in cool, dark pantry.

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Kittie 17/10/2018 - 17:53

Errr let sit until the sugar turns to liquid. Sorry for confusing above.

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Annie 13/03/2019 - 14:47

The method isn’t wrong, Kittie. It’s just different. Your method relies on natural fermentation, hence no addition of vinegar. It takes a lot longer to fermet something without adding vinegar. I’ll try both methods when summer arrives

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Kittie 15/06/2019 - 16:57

This recipe isn’t fermented. However, I do adore a spiced (“pickled” with simple syrup, white vinegar, and whole cloves) peach and that of course makes me want to try a “pickled” watermelon preserves.

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Ashlie rivera 07/09/2019 - 02:25

These are delicious, but definitely candy. I made a single batch just to try it out, and I may make it again, but I think one jar will be plenty for me for quite some time. Thank you for the recipe!

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Adina 07/09/2019 - 09:15

Thank you, Ashlie. A jar definitely goes a long way. πŸ™‚

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Jisela 07/08/2019 - 01:49

Hi! I was wondering, I never canned anything before. Does this have to be canned? Or can I just use a empty cleaned pasta jar I have in the cabinet?

Reply
Adina 07/08/2019 - 12:44

Hi Jisela. You don ‘t have to can this. Give the jam into sterilized jars. There is a link in the blog post that will lead you to another post where I explain how to sterilize jars.

Reply

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