Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Watermelon Jam

Have you ever come across a recipe so unique and intriguing that you just had to run out and get everything you'd need to give it a try? Well, when Stef from Cupcake Project was searching for the best way to get the flavor of watermelon into a cupcake, her friend Marissa from Food in Jars got to work and came up with a watermelon jelly. Watermelon jelly say what? I had to try it. The ingredients were simple, and I always have watermelon within reach during the summer, so I ran home cut one up into chunks and got to work. I followed the recipe to the letter, but even two days later the contents of my jars still resembled more of a runny sauce then a nice thick jam or jelly. I think I got a bit nervous at the smell the jam was taking on and I may have not cooked it as long as I should have.

Once I was sure that it just will not set no matter how long I waited, I reopened all the jars and dumped everything back into the pot. I added a bit more lemon juice to try and cut the sweetness and boost up the pectin, and recooked the mess to 215F again, letting it boil for a bit longer then I was strictly comfortable with, but this time everything came out great! The jam set and I had 7 shiny jars of lovely jelly tasting quite strongly of watermelon. I'm already plotting "I know what you did last summer" desserts to make with it, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that my jam exchange partner will like it too.

Watermelon Jam

Watermelon Jelly
adapted from Food in Jars
makes about 7 eight ounce jars


6 cups pureed watermelon (remove any seeds prior to pureeing)
5 cups white sugar (I think next time I'd add 4 or less)
1/2 cup bottled or fresh lemon juice
1 packet powdered pectin

Combine watermelon puree, sugar and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive pot (anything but aluminum). Get one bigger then you think, you'll want plenty of space for things to foam up without overflowing. Bring to a boil and let it boil vigorously until the temperature of mixture reaches 220 degrees. Be sure to stir frequently, you don't want it to burn on the bottom. Add the powdered pectin and boil for another five minutes.

Remove from the heat and pour into clean, sterilized jars, leaving about a half inch of headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

When time is up, remove from canner and let jars cool completely, preferably overnight. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. You can eat immediately or store unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Print up some pretty labels (I used the template from here found at this cool site) and start scheming.

68 comments:

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Wow! I've never heard/tasted watermelon jam. Love the vibrancy

Joy said...

That still weirds me out.

Katy@BlueEyedBakers said...

This looks so fancy and foodie I can hardly take it! You're a pro!

Cathe Holden said...

First, let me thank you for bumping my comments to 667! LOL. I DO appreciate stuff like that AND second, Wowza!! You took that label to one fantastic level. Who ever heard of watermelon jam?! I HAVE TO HAVE SOME!! Thanks so much for linking to my site. Have a great day.

Jessica - Sugar High said...

Watermelon Jam..? That sounds amazing! I've been dying to do some canning, I MUST try this one! Thanks for sharing :)

Angie said...

That looks very good. I might have to try to make some of that. The Amish in my area make and sell it, but I've never gotten up enough courage to try it. Watermelon Jelly??

PheMom said...

Very cool. I see watermelon in my near future. :)

scrambledhenfruit said...

Watermelon jam? Sounds fabulous- summertime in a jar!

carter @ the kitchenette said...

Where on earth did you get those amazing labels?! Just something you designed yourself?

Anna said...

Thank you guys, it really is yummy. I'm already imagining cracking this baby open in January and breathing in the sunshine.

Angie, I've never seen it sold, but if you can get a jar, I'd definitely recommend you try it. It's different, but yummy.

Carter, I got the template for the labels from the fabulously talented lady here: http://justsomethingimade.blogspot.com/, just do a search for glitter, she used these to decorate her glitter bottles and I thought they were fantastic.

Ty'sMommy said...

Oooo you had a lucky partner in the Jam Exchange!!! I am definitely going to have to try this one!

Cal said...

Wow, never heard of it, but I am glad it came out nice! My grandmother made winter squash jam, delicious, but it not quite the same as watermelon!

Abby said...

OK. This is a new one on me! But it's so pretty. Definitely the color of watermelon jolly ranchers, which I love!

Bryt said...

neat. I've never heard of watermelon jam but would certainly give it a go. Love the pretty label too!

Elizabeth said...

I love Food In Jars, and from the looks of this I am going to LOVE this too! Yum!

Jen said...

What size is the pectin packet? I have pectin in a jar instead so I want to make sure to use the right amount. Thanks! Can't wait to try this!

Anna said...

Hi Jen, a standard packet has 1.75oz or 49grams. I hope that helps and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks or the recipe, it turned out great! I made one batch using peach as well, so it was watermelon/peach jam and another with lime, so it was watermelon lime jam. They are super yummy and beautiful!

Anna said...

Oh wow, that sounds amazing! I will definitely have to try the peach version, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, we are making watermelon jam and we already have a recipe, we just do not what to use the jam with.. Could you help us out?

Anna said...

You know, that's a good question. I've been eating it on english muffins for breakfast, but there aren't too many other uses for it. I'll have to think about it, make another batch and get back to you.

wendicus said...

I just finished using your recipe. It turned out great! This was my first year to grow watermelons, and I believe they were slightly over-watered because they weren't very sweet. I started out making some watermelon pickles (yum) with the rinds, and I just hated to throw out all of that semi-sweet pulp. I'm not really sure what to do with it either, but my kids have decided that it is great on popcorn! (Crazy teenage boys...) Last winter I canned a bunch of half-pints of lime marmalade. It is wonderful but everyone is sick of lime marmalade so I've adapted an orange marmalade cookie recipe to accommodate my limes. They are so good! I may try the watermelon jelly in them tomorrow. Wouldn't that be crazy? Watermelon cookies!

Shorthairshai said...

Im using it to fill some Vanilla Cupcakes.. if you were looking for another use for it! then top with some cream cheese frosting..:)

Anna said...

That sounds really good, Shorthairshai, thank you for the suggestion!

Sandie said...

I made some last night and it tastes great. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like this might be good on vanilla ice cream? I want to make some this summer......

Dogscanlookup said...

Made this a couple weeks back and it is DELISH! I used key lime juice instead of lemon because I'll take lime over lemon any day of the week. I also went with the 4c of sugar instead of 5 and I still thought it was a little too sweet for my taste, but nobody around here is complaining, lol. Tastes like a Jolly Rancher! I'm going to figure out a way to incorporated it into cupcakes as not only filling,but as a flavoring in the buttercream as well. ;)

A few days after making this, I also made a batch of jalapeno jelly. Lemme let you in on a little secret... Watermelon jelly + jalapeno jelly + goat cheese on crackers = OMNOMNOMNOMNOM!!!! I may just add some chopped jalapeno to my next batch!

Everyone around here is really impressed, so, you know, thanks for making me look good. Especially with that kick ass label! (I used a dirty typewriter font and it looks amazing!)

Lesley said...

This is fabulous. I'm thinking about making some for my Foodie Penpals swap partner but only want to make 1 jar haha... gonna see if I can make a tiny batch. Thanks for posting this! It's so unique.

Lesley
byporchlight.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Wow jalepeno watermelon jelly sounds interesting! I bought a watermelon today to make this tomorrow night!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how this watermelon jam would be poured over a block of cream cheese like you would pepper jelly? Sounds worth trying with some wheat thins!

Workin at Home Mama said...

Can't wait to make this. How fun!

Whitney said...

Attempting to make this morning. I don't have enough watermelon, so I am going to use honey dew and cantaloupe also. Also going to use low to no sugar pectin, which according the the jar, will only take 2 cups of sugar. Excited to try! The household in which I live isn't too fond of melon, so I bet I will be giving a lot away this holiday season.

Alyssa said...

as for what to do with it, why not use it instead of frosting for a white or angel food cake. i bet that would be super yummy.

Anonymous said...

Did u add food coloring?

Anonymous said...

Ok how runny is this supposed to be? I just made it its still warm but it's liquid in the jar :( will it jell as it cools?

Hope Meadows said...

I only have liquid pectin - will that still work?

Anna said...

To answer a few most recent questions, no, there is absolutely no food coloring in there. The jam was pretty runny still when it was warm, but as long as you cook it to the proper temperature, it will set up once it's completely cool. And I'm sorry, but I've never worked with liquid pectin and I'm not sure about the difference between it and the powdered version. You could give it a try, but I'd suggest finding the powdered pectin to be sure it will work. Thanks for reading!

DAVID HAMMERSLEY said...

what about making a jelly out of it without cooking the nutrients out of it. what good is it without the benefits of the food. when cooking at those temperatures you destroy all the benefits to it.

Sandra said...

I have made watermelon jam many times and I also make watermelon with strawberries. Nice twist to it. Also I have made watermelon with cinnamon which was also great.. I have found that the watermelon jams are best served cold makes it much more crisper tasting.... Great recipe and great direction....

Anonymous said...

How do you puree the watermelon? ( I want to make sure I use the right amount)

Toni said...

You are my hero of the day! Love the honest feedback on your cooking process. I am trying this recipe tomorrow! Thanks!

Toni said...

Would you send me your label? It's beautiful!
mrs.vladimirova@yahoo.com

Cali said...

Tried making this today- I had a little taste while it was cooking and it was awesome. However (please bear with me as this is the first time I've made jam or canned anything), I'm noticing that it's still really runny! Any ideas what I may have done wrong? I followed the recipe except I did use Evaporated Cane Sugar instead of regular white sugar- 4 cups of that rather than 5 per your suggestion. It's been a couple of hours and the jars feel cool, so if it's runny now does that mean it's just going to be runny?
Thanks!

Nicole said...

Would it work as a freezer jam?

Anonymous said...

I warmed it up added a little honey and lime juice and drizzled over my watermelon slices, for our tea and hats party went like hot cakes.

Renee said...

i made this last night... still really runny today. i think i need to do what you did and dump it all back in the pot and start again. how much pectin did you use when you re-heated it?

Anna said...

Toni, I included a link to the site where I got the labels in the post, so you can just grab them from there. I didn't save the file after I printed them, sorry.

Cali, I've never used Evaporated Cane Sugar so I don't know what affect that would cause, but decreasing the sugar will affect the set of your jelly depending on the type of pectin you're using.

Nicole, I have never made freezer jam, but give it a try and let me know how it comes out!

Renee, I didn't add any more pectin, but I did add about a quarter cup of lemon juice when I went to reheat it. You can add a bit more pectin if you like, but the key was to bring it up to the proper temperature, so make sure that your thermometer is accurate.

Melissa Venturi said...

The best way to determine the texture of how the jam will turn out is to take a small metal bowl, ladle, ect, as long as it's metal. pour the hot jam in that and place on top of ice.once it's cold that is how your jam will turn out. hope this helps

Donna Trull said...

I may have messed mine up. Boo hoo. I added the pectin before it started boiling and I think mine are going to be too thick. I bought smaller 4 oz jars and only got 4 1/2 jars from this recipe. Something tells me these will be way to sweet though I cut the sugar to 4 cups and way too thick. This is my first attempt at jelly making so we'll see. Either way I'm trying it again!

Debra said...

I have a question: it states to put sugar and lemon in first then pectin. I have always done the pectin first. Have I been doing it wrong? I made tomato jam last night and the recipe is in my head and I was off because it has been years and years since I have made it so it did not set but still taste good lol

Anonymous said...

I just got done making and processing right now. I had a really hard time bringing it up to the correct temp with the lid off the cooking pot(on a turbo burner), the closes I could come was between 200-215 (w/ lid off), I am assuming (more like hoping)that with the lid on it reached the right temp. It burnt a little on the bottom and when ladling jelly into jars I tried to make sure no burnt parts went into the jars. For the first attempt in making I might not be able to give away/exchange, but we will enjoy it all the same! I also added a cup of watermelon juice before cooking, b/c I could tell that burning may be an issue (I'm glad I did, or it may have lost all of it the first attempt. I also reduced sugar to 4C as suggested and may reduce further the next time after a little taste test. Thank you posting this yummy treat and all the suggestions! I can't wait to share it with family and friends!...I am now on a mission to find a recipe to make watermelon juice, I hate to throw out all the yummy watermelon juice!--any suggestions?

AnneW said...

My first attempt was a failure. It just wouldn't set up. I poured everything back in, added more pectin and started over. Second time must be the charm because it set up nicely.

Brenda Doyle-Emery said...

Is it 6 cups before Puree, or 6 cups after Puree? Just wondering... Want to make some!Thanks Brenda

Writerz Block said...

I tried it and it was also a fail. I had to boil the crap out of it and use another package of pectin. Its also not the right color either. :(

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by a "non-reactive pot"? Is it a non-stick pot?

Julie said...

My first attempt has not set up yet and it does not look like the above picture. I will dump it all back in a pot and try again tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe, keeping my fingers crossed.

Julia said...

How is the jelly so clear without straining the puree? I want to make sure that I'm not missing a step. I want to make this tomorrow after I buy some watermelon at the local farmer's market.

vicki said...

I am almost ready to do this. Please, how do you puree watermelon? (boy do I feel dumb asking this!)

Anna said...

To answer some questions, to purée the watermelon I used my immersion blender, but you can use a regular blender or just smash the pieces if you don't mind chunks in the final product. I didn't do anything special to have it come out that clear. It's not as clear as jelly, but its pretty close. A non-stick pot counts as non-reactive, but I meant don't use anything that will react with acid, so no stainless steel or copper. I used my enamel coated Dutch oven, if that helps. If you had trouble and it didn't set up, you can either boil it again like I did, or mix it up with some lemonade, vodka and ice for a lovely cocktail....which I also did :). Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

I had tons of peaches a few years ago, and decided to try something different after several batches of regular jam. I added 15 drops of Loranne watermelon flavoring (used for suckers, etc.) to a large batch. That's all anyone will let me make now! It has the great texture of peach jam, and the flavor of watermelon. Great on toast, waffles, pancakes, ice cream, etc. Super easy!

Kacey said...

How much headspace did you leave? Can't wait to try this!!

Anonymous said...

Super easy but I cut the sugar down to 3 cups, still very sweet. I will make this again. Delicious!

Anonymous said...

Tried this yesterday followed the recipe to the "T" and 24 hours later it is still not set.

Anonymous said...

I did as the recipe said and my jam is runny any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I added Chili Pequin from my garden! Yum! Spicy sweet. Great with cream cheese and crackers.

Anonymous said...

the jam is done when you do the saucer test. put a few small plated in the freezer, test when you think its close to being ready at least 45 minutes. Put the plate back in freezer for 1 minute. run your finger through jam to see if it wrinkles and doesn't run back unto itself. Also the color depends on the color of your melon. mine was less red. So I added food coloring so it was a beautiful hot pink. 3 drops of airbrush food coloring was all it took. So beautiful and amazingly delicious. Perfect for lemonade cupcakes with a watermelon buttercream!!! Thanks for Sharing!!

Ben & Kay said...

Why no stainless steal? Thats all I own. :-(

Alex said...

OMG - soooo good. I just made a slightly larger batch of this. 9 cups of watermelon puree, 6 cups of sugar (plenty sweet enough), 3/4 cup of raw sugar (all I had) and the equivalent of 1 1/2 packets of pectin. It set pretty quickly, I just had some on buttered bread and it is so good. So refreshing and light. I couldn't get the temperature to go above 100%C and I gave up on that after a while because I was paranoid that the jam would lose its freshness. So glad it set anyway.
Thank you so much for sharing. Delish!