Watermelon Rind Preserves

When I was very small, my grandmother used to scare the daylights out of me with her watermelon rind false teeth. I don't know how she made them, but it was probably in preparation for making these preserves. This recipe is from Eleanor Bradshaw's article on making jams and preserves.

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 quarts prepared watermelon rind (about 6 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced lemon (about 1 medium lemon)
  • water
Preparation:
  1. To prepare the rind:
    1. Trim the green skin and pink flesh from the rind. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
    2. Dissolve the salt in 8 cups of water and pour over the rind.
    3. Let stand 5 to 6 hours.
    4. Drain, rinse and drain again.
    5. Cover with cold water and let stand 30 minutes. Drain.
    6. Sprinkle the ginger over the rind, cover with water and cook until fork-tender. Drain.
  2. To make the preserves:
    1. combine the sugar, lemon juice and 6 cups water in a large pot or Dutch oven.
    2. Boil for 5 minutes.
    3. Add the rind and boil gently for 30 minutes or until syrup thickens.
    4. Add sliced lemon and cook until lemon rind is transparent.
    5. Pack hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
    6. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps.
    7. Process 20 minutes in boiling water bath.

Note: Readers will enjoy Cheryl Hill-Burrier's article on canning and food dehydrating and John Raven's article on jams and jelly preserves.

Prep time: 7 Hrs 30 Min; Cooking time: 1 Hrs 10 Min; Total time: 8 Hrs 40 Min

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